The Girls in the Snow opens with a creepy “girl comes home to find parents slain” prologues. From there, we’re zipped into the future, where the same girl is now a woman, working for the FBI.
This opener in the Nikki Hunt series is quite good: Hunt is back in Stillwater, Minnesota. It’s business, this time, though. Two teenage girls have been found dead in the snow, after previously vanishing from a trail. Hunt has been working a serial killer case known as Frost (as he leaves his victims in the snow after killing them), but Hunt knows this is not his work. Still, she decides to stay on and work the case. This is my quibble with the book, which I’ll touch on further below.
She discovers while she’s in town that the man convicted of murdering her parents is getting a new hearing. There are protestors outside the courthouse, convinced that the investigation done at the time was faulty and Hunt’s memory of the events that night even moreso. That man’s brother also wants her to go talk to the man face to face and also review the case notes. She pushes him away, but tendrils of doubt start her questioning the events of that night. Oh, and her ex-boyfriend is still living in town, too, now married – and is the father of one of the girls found murdered.
The investigation into the current day murders starts very slowly, but pick up steam, and when another body is found – this time a dancer from one of local clubs. Hunt and her team pick up that case, too, and soon the two come crashing together, albeit in a way that might surprise readers.
Overall, a good read. There weren’t many laggy parts, and the characters were all pretty rounded out – no cardboard cutout secondary characters here. My only issue was that Hunt stayed on to head up the investigation once it was clear the girls were not victims of the Frost killer. There was a potential conflict of interest (her ex-boyfriend being the father of one of the dead girls) as well as the issue with the potential that the man she’d helped lock away when she was a teen herself would receive a new trial (not to mention the emotional aspect of it all).
Other than that – and I’m willing to overlook this for fictional purposes in a story that’s well done – it was an enjoyable read.
A solid four out of five stars.
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the review copy.