Manuela’s Review of “Pretty Girls Dancing” by Kylie Brant

By: Manuela Soares

Seven years ago, sixteen-year-old Kelsey Willard went missing never to be seen again, thought to have been kidnapped by the serial killer dubbed the Ten Mile Killer. Now, fourteen-year-old Whitney DeVries has gone missing and an investigation has been launched to find her. New clues and information are found, and old secrets are uncovered and brought to light. Who took Whitney? Was it the same person who took Kelsey? Are the two cases even related? What secrets are the two families hiding behind their polished veneers? In this mystery/suspense/who-done-it, follow Special Agent Mark Foster of the BCI (Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation) to uncover the truth and solve a mystery that has haunted Ohio for over thirty years.

Sounds exciting right? To a point, it was, this book followed the path that many like it have; girl goes missing, investigation takes place, believed to be linked to a serial killer haunting the area, girl is never found, case goes cold, and a family is shrouded in secrets, devastation, and barely holding it together. Fast forward several years and it happens again, girl goes missing, investigation takes place, a body is found, secrets are uncovered, and the devastated, barely holding it together family is joined by another; only this time the investigation leads to the truth, the girl is found, and the perpetrator is apprehended. That is the book in a nutshell, essentially.

Stories like this are ones that I enjoy, the suspense of what’s going to happen next and trying to put the clues together to figure out who the perpetrator is. This was no exception, while it did follow the model of books like it, it was a good read and has a twist that completely threw me when it came to who the kidnapper and killer was. The story is told through the eyes of five characters, Janie Willard, Claire Willard, David Willard, Special Agent Mark Foster, and Whitney DeVries herself. Through these five, we learn about Kelsey, the Willard family and their dynamics, the DeVries family and their dynamics, Kelsey’s investigation, Whitney’s investigation, Whitney’s captivity (and by extent Kelsey’s captivity), the secrets told and those that weren’t, who the killer is, and much more.

The story opens with Whitney and her kidnapping, and from there it jumps to Janie, who has severe social anxiety and selective mutism, and readers begin to learn about Kelsey, the Willard family, and how they’ve been coping since Kelsey’s kidnapping. From there the story takes off, and slowly but surely the truth begins to come to light. Each chapter goes back and forth between the five characters I mentioned, and each unravels and reveals more secrets and truths of the families and the kidnappings and brings readers one step closer to the kidnapper and killer.

Find the book here!

The pace of the story was a bit slow, but it worked out and the characters weren’t too bad either; though I didn’t much care for Mr. and Mrs. Willard, they irked me more often than not. Overall, the story was decent and worth the read; there were enough twists and turns that made it interesting so the lulls in the story weren’t too difficult to push through, and it didn’t leave any cliffhangers; it brought the story around full circle. If you’ve got an afternoon or two free and want a story that will have you guessing, definitely think of giving this one a go.

You can check it out on Goodreads or, if interested, purchase it on Amazon.

This review will also be posted on Fathoms Amidst the Lines and Goodreads.


*DISCLAIMER – I received this Kindle book for free from the Goodreads Giveaways Program. All opinions in this review are entirely my own.*


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