The Little Grave by Carolyn Arnold – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Little Grave by bestselling author Carolyn Arnold to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

The Little Grave by Carolyn Arnold

Here is the book blurb.

Detective Amanda Steele stops just inside the doorway, recognizing the victim’s face instantly. He seems so vulnerable in death; soft, human, even harmless. But she can never forget the evil he has inflicted. Her heart is hammering as she remembers her precious daughter, with her red curls and infectious laugh, and how she was lowered into that little grave…

It’s been five years since Detective Amanda Steele’s life was derailed in the path of an oncoming drunk driver. The small community of Dumfries, Virginia, may have moved on from the tragic deaths of her husband and daughter, but Amanda cannot. When the driver who killed her family is found murdered in a motel room, she can’t keep away from the case.

Fighting her sergeant to be allowed to work an investigation with such a personal connection to her, Amanda is in a race to prove that she can uncover the truth. But the more she digs into the past of the man who destroyed her future, the more shocking discoveries she makes. And when Amanda finds the link between a silver bracelet in his possession and the brutal unsolved murder of a young exotic dancer, she realizes she’s caught up in something darker than she ever imagined and suspects that more girls could be in danger.

But as Amanda edges toward the truth, she gets closer to a secret as personal as it is deadly. Amanda has stumbled upon a dangerous killer, and she must face some terrible truths in order to catch this killer – and save his next victim as she couldn’t save her own daughter…

This is the first title in the new Detective Amanda Steele series from Carolyn Arnold. I’m always impressed how many series this author can juggle simultaneously, but this is the first time that I am starting with book one in a series.

The prologue draws you in with a killing in Atlanta over five years ago, before introducing you to the main character Amanda Steele in Virginia, who has just had a hot one-night stand in a motel with a stranger. We soon learn that Amanda lost her husband and six-year old daughter five years ago, killed by drunk driver Chad Palmer and since then life has just held pain and sorrow. She sleeps with strangers and pops sleeping pills.

Not long after abandoning this latest guy, Amanda gets a call from friend and colleague Becky. Chad Palmer has been found dead, days after being released from prison. Even with the conflict of interest, Amanda manages to talk herself onto the case, but Sergeant Malone insists she doesn’t work solo and assigns her a partner, namely new guy joining the team, Trent Stenson. Plus he wants details of her alibi.

So who has killed Chad? How can Amanda investigate the death of a man who destroyed her future? How will she track down her sexy mystery man alibi? Can she work well with new partner Trent? And what is the connection with that prologue?

Lots of strands to this story as the investigation progresses, with plenty of surprises that I would never have guessed.

The Little Grave is newly published today and available on Amazon. Once again Carolyn Arnold has delivered a real page turner that had me gripped throughout.

Here are the links to my reviews of other books by Carolyn Arnold.
Power Struggle
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh
On the Count of Three
Shades of Justice
Exercise is Murder
Past Deeds
The Legend of Gasparilla and his Treasure
What We Bury

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