As a fan of Detective Temeke and his partner Malin Santiago, I was delighted to see a new book in the series. Easy Prey, by Claire Stibbe features a fascinating character, Jessie Bowman, who embodies the indestructible illusion of youth. When her best friend, Brianna Ortiz, disappears from their tent while on a camping trip, Jessie is thrown into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a deadly opponent.
Waking in the tent to discover Bree is gone along with a gun Jessie had brought for protection, the seventeen-year-old sets out to find her. The girls had been searching for a rare bird, an arctic gyrfalcon, and had seen a gray-haired man with a shotgun who they suspected was hunting the same bird.
While Jessie searches for Bree, she notifies the police, drawing Temeke and Santiago into the case. The story is told both through Jessie’s eyes as well as Malin’s and Temeke’s. Stibbe does an excellent job of capturing the innermost thoughts of the young girl; her guilt about an argument she had with Bree before her disappearance, her determination to learn what has happened to her friend, and her ability to pursue the man she suspects has kidnapped Brianna.
Stibbe has a knack for describing police procedures with an intensity that carries the reader along, comfortable in the knowledge of what is happening and why things are done in a particular manner. Her ability to switch between Temeke’s detective vision and Jessie’s teenage view provides a well-rounded picture of the events.
Perhaps the most disturbing character in the book is Jago, a sick individual who leads Jessie on a chase that could end in her death. This is not a book for the squeamish. It is violent, frightening, and will keep the reader up well past bedtime. I truly could not set it down.
There are other important characters in the story, not the least of which is the gyrfalcon. Kept by Malik Shamoun who owns a bird sanctuary, the falcon is the focal point of the tale. It is this falcon that precipitates much of the activity, from its disappearance to the hunt by Jago, and the eventual discovery of its importance.
There are understories which are as intense as the main plot. Stibbe ties it altogether neatly at the end, leaving her reader satisfied and eager for the next Temeke adventure. As with all the Detective Temeke books, this can be read as a stand-alone. However, I encourage readers to start with the first one and move forward. They are too good to choose just one favorite.
“Two best friends. One deadly secret.
Something dark and brooding stalks the mysterious Bosque nature reserve. Bird watchers fall prey to the menace and thefts of rare falcons are on the rise. But it is the body of a murdered girl discovered on the banks of The Rio Grande River that eventually brings Detectives Temeke and Santiago onto the trail.
During a camping weekend, Jessie Bowman’s best friend, Bree, has disappeared. Guilt ridden, yet determined to do the right thing, she tracks the man she believes is responsible and begins to unravel a mystery that tests every ounce of her resilience. She has only two choices – fight or flight. And Jessie is done with running.
Now Detectives Temeke and Santiago must locate Jessie before the madman snares his final prey.”
Claire Stibbe grew up in Norfolk, England and now lives in the USA. She is the author of the Detective Temeke Crime series – The 9th Hour, Night Eyes, Past Rites, Dead Cold, Easy Prey. Winner of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards for crime mystery, her books have also been Amazon bestsellers, reaching the #1 spot in the top 100.
She is also a reporter for Stand True 4 Blue, which features a Nationwide Newsletter dedicated to law enforcement, supporter of the Victim Impact Program (domestic violence) and a member and graduate of the Citizen Police & BSCO Sheriff’s Academy. A former journalist and magazine editor, she now writes full time.
Find out more about Claire at http://www.clairestibbe.com Twitter and Instagram @CMTStibbe
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