Untold by Nancy Ann Healy is a fast-paced and complex thriller about the hunt for a serial killer. It is book 5 in the Alex and Cassidy series and takes place 5 years after the events in book 4. It is so very cleverly done and involves a crossover with Candace and Jamieson from the By Design series by J.A. Armstrong (aka Nancy Ann Healy).
Alexis Toles is now happily employed as an Instructor at the Police Academy and her day to day challenges revolve around dealing with her four children and the rest of her family. A young woman goes missing and the Connecticut State Police Major Crime Squad gets involved. One of the officers, going on gut instincts, decides that Alexis should be consulted and she is quickly drawn back into the FBI. She thus becomes involved and plays an important part in a race against time to catch a violent and sadistic serial killer.
There is a five-year time gap since we last saw Alex and Cassidy. Their children are that much older and their relationship has matured a great deal, although that does not mean it is without passion(!). Alex continues to struggle with her desire to protect her family and friends and her need to work long hours to do just that. She and Cassidy also have to cope with the aspirations and needs of their children, which they sometimes struggle not to feel guilty about.
A number of characters from Book 4 continue into this book, but by detailing their appearance I will be giving away parts of the story, so I will have to leave you guessing.
Candace and Jamieson (JD) Reid from By Design make an appearance with Candace on the campaign trail. They immediately fit into the extended Toles family, and the writing is such that it makes you wonder if you missed something earlier in either series and that they have known each other for years.
The Writing Style
The storyline continues in the successful style of the Alex and Cassidy series, in the third person and with the different storylines spread across sections of the narrative. This means we may be with Alex and her son Dylan one moment and with the serial killer the next.
The serial killer and his victims are really well written and I found that the darkness and violence for this story arc really came through, although interestingly I think this book has a much lighter element to some of it than many of the earlier books in the series. I found myself laughing out loud a lot. I think it is this contrast between light and dark that makes the book such a good read on the emotional level.
I continue to really love the way the Alex and Cassidy series is written and I believe this is the best yet. I wondered where Untold would go as a story, bearing in mind the idea that the series was at an end in Volume 4. However, there were two or three threads left from that story that Nancy Ann Healy has followed up and brought forward and there is a seamlessness between them.
This is a thriller about the hunt for a serial killer, and the story does detail the killer and his violence toward some of the victims. It is dealt with very carefully and, in my view, sensitively. Whilst there is no overtly described sexual attack, issues around power are graphically described and some people may find the level of violence difficult to deal with.
This is the best thriller yet from Nancy Ann Healy, without a doubt, and the crossover with By Design just adds to the delight. It keeps you guessing until the end and I am already hoping that the next one has more of that crossover.
Excerpt from Untold by Nancy Ann Healy
“Dave? What’s going on?” Alex asked.
Dave Siminski chuckled. Alex was never one to mince words. Right now, he didn’t have time for casual niceties either. “I need you to look at something.”
Alex took a deep breath. “I’m listening.” “Look, I got called out to look at something.”
“Alex, listen, I can’t explain it. I have a bad feeling about this one.”
“Homicide?” Alex asked.
“Missing teenage girl,” Siminski replied.
“Missing for how long?”
“Hours,” he told Alex.
“Hours is hardly cause for the major crime squad,” she said. “How do you know she didn’t just take off with friends?”
Siminski groaned. He didn’t know if Kaylee Peters had taken off with someone. It wouldn’t be the first time a teenager sent the police on a wild goose chase. He’d worked enough cases in his life that he had developed an ability to read between the lines—to see the truth in a person’s eyes. Kaylee’s friends were scared—not only worried—scared.
“Okay? I don’t understand what makes you think I can help.”
Siminski kept his chuckle in check. Alex was an investigator who had a talent for seeing what no one else did. Part of that stemmed from her ability to concentrate amid confusion. He had witnessed that a few times when they had both worked at the FBI. Insanity could surround Alex: noise, movement, questions, and somehow Alex Toles seemed to be able to focus with razor precision.
Get This Book On Amazon
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9780692913512
- Publisher: Bumbling Bard Creations LLC