I used to love a book series but as I read more and more, I prefer stand-alone books. However, every so often I come across a series that garners my interest and keeps me entertained beyond words. I become committed to the characters, intertwined in the storyline, and enthralled by each and every plot. 

That being said, I never really go for thriller novels, only because there are always so many books in the series, I never catch a series just as it's starting out. However, that changed when I discovered Stacey Green's series surrounding detective, Nikki Hunt. 

I've already written a review about the first book, "The Girls in the Snow" and recently read the second installment, "One Perfect Grave". The third installment called "Lost Angels" is already published and waiting for me on my Barnes & Noble Nook but today, let's focus on book two.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that I loved this novel, just as much as I loved the first! 

Publisher's Summary

She didn’t see the patch of black ice until it was too late. The car started to spin, and as it veered off into the deep ditch and the mounds of snow beside the road, she saw him. The little boy frozen in the ice.

When the remains of two bodies are found in an open grave along a desolate highway in Stillwater, Minnesota, Special Agent Nikki Hunt knows exactly who they are. The bright blue jacket lying on the frozen earth belongs to Kellan Rhodes, the missing boy she’s desperately been trying to find for the last two days. The other body is his mother Dana, who had been Nikki’s lead suspect.

Although the wounds on Dana’s body suggest she murdered her son and took her own life, Nikki finds evidence that suggests she was a victim too. Dana was desperately trying to regain custody of Kellan, and Nikki finds boot prints at the scene that belong to someone else.

When another child is reported missing, local journalist Caitlin Newport claims the cases are linked: Zach Reeves was taken away from his own mother in a custody battle, just like Kellan was.

Caitlin once helped Nikki find out the truth about her own parents’ murders, but her desire for a story nearly cost Nikki her life. Now, Nikki must decide if she can trust Caitlin again, before time runs out to find the killer and bring Zach home alive…

My Thoughts

I really love agent Nikki Hunt; I love her personality, her depth, her dedication to her profession but also how she loves the people around her so deeply. I love that she never gives up and never lets things slide -- she is always putting the victims first. I wish she were real! 

There are definitely references to the first book in this one so I do recommend reading in order and think that you should read the first book to get the full picture.

"One Perfect Grave" follows the story of a deceased little boy and his mother and many people in town think the mother killed her son... but not Nikki. She knows there is more to the story and won't stop until she knows what really happened.

At the same time, she deals with the trauma of what she went through in the previous book, balancing a new relationship and her co-parenting relationship with her ex-husband. She is being pulled in multiple different directions and feels unfocused, but that doesn't mean that she isn't dedicated.

When the story is first introduced, as a reader, you have your opinions. You make your assumptions about who killed Kellan and how he ended up frozen in the woods. However, as the story goes on, you are skeptical about who the suspect could be. You're pulled in a few different directions until it becomes clear where the story is headed... yet, you still don't see it coming. 

It was mind-blowing -- the reveal and the climax of the book. It knocked my socks off and my jaw was hanging open by the end. 

Stacey Green is an excellent writer. She knows her characters well and develops them in a very natural way. Nikki Hunt is one of the few protagonists that I am not annoyed by, even in the slightest bit. She is really wonderful to read and be inside of.

I really loved this book; I finished it in 24 hours and it got me out of a huge reading slump.

If you haven't started reading the Agent Nikki Hunt series and love detective thrillers, you need to get on it!


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