Sheriff Ken Meltzer, from the small town of Whisper, finds the decomposing body of a girl deep in the Georgia forest. Next to her, the skeletal remains of another girl. One victim had been there for sixty days, the other for ten years.

Drugs, theft and reckless speeders are the main worries in Meltzer’s county; homicide is not his speciality. A friend at the Atlanta Police Department recommends a freelancer Meltzer has never heard of – former FBI profiler and private detective Keye Street…

Keye Street is a terrific character, one who appears to have grown in confidence and stature and in her third outing here we are introduced to a driven protagonist who is away from home, out of her comfort zone and fighting against a town who definitely don’t want her medalling in their business.

From the moment she arrives in small town Whisper it’s clear she is on her own, apart from an ally in Sheriff Ken Meltzer, a suave and handsome man, and the two set out to investigate the death of two teenage girls and the disappearance of a third. There’s an immediate attraction between the two and along with a fair dose of guilty flirting, Keye has to fight the urge to give in to temptation given her relationship with Atlanta PD’s Aaron Rauser back home.

From the outset the regular characteristics of a Keye Street novel are clear for all to see and read, the subtle humour, addiction, an intelligent narrative and last but not least – the Krispy Kremes. The novel wouldn’t be complete without those giant glazed balls of fun Street hankers for, a substitute for her alcohol addiction, and in reality an example of one addiction replacing the other. I experienced my first Krispy Kreme just before Christmas and all I can say is I know where Keye is coming from!

As I’ve already mentioned above the narrative is intelligent, strong and well-crafted allowing the story to move along at a rapid pace. For me it never falters and the combination of a good plot helps the book reach the heights it deserves. Nothing is ever straightforward in crime novels and Don’t Talk to Strangers is no exception. Slowly but surely the author introduces sub plots and suspects and you never quite know who’s guilty or innocent and the book will definitely keep you guessing right up to the very end.

As the investigation gains momentum, with a little coercion from Keye, the town gives up her secrets, one by one, and with each revelation we are treated to another possible outcome. The pace towards the back end of the story is relentless and everything comes to head with a fitting finale.

Another strength of Amanda’s writing is her explanation as to why the culprit is finally caught. It’s the small things that matter and the attention to detail in all her books is outstanding.

I thoroughly enjoyed Don’t Talk to Strangers, arguably the strongest book of the three, I could see a certain maturity to the writing and delivery, there’s no flannel, and it works incredibly well. The book, although the third in a series, can be read on its own but you will lose a great backstory so I’d advise beginning with book number one. Highly recommended, my favourite book of the series, this is one not to be missed in 2014. There’s only one thing missing, a Krispy kreme.

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (1 July 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0755384253
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755384259
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