Detective Geena Brassard – is single, in her early thirties, and lives alone with her aging bulldog, Codis. She is very tall and has no female friends other than those on the police force. She has only been partnered with Parker Reed for a short time. Before that she was partnered with her friend and mentor Albert – who has recently retired from the force. Geena’s loyalty to Albert and his methods is sacrosanct.
Detective Parker Reed – is also single (though he has a steady female partner, Becca, who we were introduced to in the first book in the series). He is in his mid thirties. Parker is tall, quiet, and has a good rapport with his partner Geena.The CASE: Young women are being bound, raped, and strangled in Northampton County. They are always killed in the spring and their bodies dumped in lakes and ponds. All of the women were college students, had long hair, and were assaulted while alone on the mountain trails.
Janey – the ‘first’ victim of the Spring Strangler. She is the only one who survived and her six year old son Christian is the result of her rape. Christian has troubling behavioral issues and Janey is terrified that her son will turn out as evil as his father…
The third in the Northampton County series, “Spring Girls” is a police procedural with themes of nature vs. nurture and the cyclic course of abusive relationships. The pacing was steady, and the descriptions well rendered.
Detective Parker Reed took a backseat this time to his partner Geena Brassard. We got to know her more and discover her increasing regard for her new partner, Parker.
Janey was an interesting character. She had very low self-esteem, and loved her young son very much despite his behavior. I got bad vibes from Janey’s therapist, Helen, from the start but couldn’t imagine the reason… We learn the identity of the Spring Strangler at about the 70% mark of the book, with the rest of the novel explaining the motivation and back story.
Karen Katchur knows how to perfectly balance her plot with her characters and it is evident here. The books in this series are interconnected, but each highlights a different character so they could be read just fine as stand-alones.
All in all, another fine addition to this series and I’ll look forward to future cases of Brassard and Parker. Recommended!
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Thomas & Mercer (Amazon Publishing) via NetGalley. This is a title from my NetGalley backlist which I should have read and reviewed ages ago… my apologies to the author and the publisher.
Karen Katchur is an award-winning suspense novelist with a bachelor of science in criminal justice and a master’s in education. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.