• Search
  • Lost Password?
Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

The Fragile Ones
by Jennifer Chase
Books On Tour
Review

Tea, flowers and an open book on a table in the garden - Used to feature my book reviews

My thanks go out to the lovely Sarah, representing publisher Bookouture, for including me in this Blog Tour

Extra thanks as ever, to the great NetGalley team, for their seamless downloads

Image of the Blog Tour Poster for the book 'The Fragile Ones' by Jennifer Chase

THE FRAGILE ONES – (Detective Katie Scott #5)

Cover image of the book 'The Fragile Ones' by author Jennifer Chase“Please Mommy, can Tessa and I go play on the swing by the creek?” the little girl begs, pushing a blonde curl from her eyes. “We’ll stay together, and we promise to be safe.” Hours later, their mother waits anxiously for her darling girls to arrive home with a list of reasons why they are late. But the front door never opens…

When the bodies of eleven and twelve-year-old sisters, Tessa and Megan, are found at the bottom of a ravine—dressed in matching pastel summer outfits, their small bodies broken from the fall—Detective Katie Scott is called to one of the most shocking and heartbreaking crime scenes of her career.

Carefully picking through the fragile remains, Katie makes the first of many disturbing discoveries: the girls were not biological sisters. The youngest, Megan, is a DNA match to a kidnapping case years before. The tiny number burnt into her skin the mark of a terrifying killer intent on keeping count of his collection.

Her PTSD from the army triggered, Katie is left reeling as she maps other missing children in the local area. Has this twisted soul found a way to stay nearby his victims? Could he be watching now as Katie hits one dead end after another?

A wild storm building, matching a fiber found during the autopsy to a nearby boatyard is the break Katie needs. But when another girl goes missing, just as lightning strikes and the power goes out, Katie only has her instincts, her team and her service dog to rely on. As time runs out for Katie to finds the stolen child alive, who will become the next number on this monster’s deadly list?

Cover image of the book 'The Fragile Ones' by author Jennifer Chase

JENNIFER CHASE

Image of author Jennifer ChaseJennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and best-selling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist.

She holds a bachelors degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing her with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.

Jennifer is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.

She was born and raised in California and still lives there with her husband, dogs and cats.

In addition to writing and consulting, Jennifer enjoys spending time outdoors, both at the beach and hiking, and engaging in some amateur photography.

Keep up with all Jennifer’s latest news at her website

Connect with Jennifer on Facebook

Follow Jennifer on Twitter

Cover image of the book 'The Fragile Ones' by author Jennifer Chase

FIRST LINES

PROLOGUE

“Please can we go?” whined Tessa as she followed her mother through the living room and into the kitchen. “Please,” she said again, pushing her blonde curls away from her eyes. “I really want to go to the swing by the creek.”

.

CHAPTER ONE – TWO YEARS LATERTUESDAY 19:45 HOURS

“I’m so proud of how far you’ve come, and really impressed at how hard you’ve been working to tackle your anxiety,” said Dr. Carver, her calm voice and serene expression beaming through the computer screen.

“I’m finally feeling like I’m in control and not the other way around. I can actually say that a weight has been lifted,” said Katie Scott as she took a deep breath and tried to visualize her worries and fears leaving her body as she’d been taught. She then readjusted herself on the couch with Cisco, her jet-black German shepherd, at her side.

Cover image of the book 'The Fragile Ones' by author Jennifer Chase

MEMORABLE LINES

“The chopper blades circled above with a loud whooshing noise and blasts of a wind like a category three hurricane, First she felt weightless and free, but then it was like being a doll dangling with nothing to cling to and nothing to save her. With one hand in front holding onto a rope and the other behind, there was a delicate balance that kept her body upright and sent it downward. Jerking and moving in disharmony, Katie made several attempts to keep herself steady and to get to the ground as quickly as possible. She also made a fatal, rookie mistake – she looked down. Even though it was a training area, it looked like she was atop a city skyscraper and would soon be crushed at the bottom…”

.

“Katie bowed her head for a moment of silence. ‘Rest in peace, little fragile ones, and may angels carry you under their wings to heaven.’ She said a private prayer, then sat in silence, gathering her thoughts”

Cover image of the book 'The Fragile Ones' by author Jennifer Chase

REVIEW

“But the front door never opens…”

This is another of those detective series I kinda wish I had followed from the beginning, even though this story worked more than adequately as a stand alone. Author Jennifer Chase, did an amazing job at filling in the backstory as we went along and I never really felt short-changed on that front, however Katie Scott is such a complicated, emotional and damaged character, that I would have liked to have got to hear her story in her own words.

This ‘read alone’ case opened with a prologue which I knew in my heart of hearts, was setting a scene which was going to end badly. The investigation moved along at a fair old pace, although there were a couple of ‘What? – Really?’ moments. The ending as it was presented, was quite neatly tied up, although I was left with more than a few questions about the efficacy of this particular policing district. Oh! and the fourth thing you need for a good series thriller to succeed, is that the main protagonist lives long enough to fight another day, which thankfully Katie does, although this time it was quite a close call.

There were quite a few red herrings carefully placed to snare the not so wary reader and I admit that I got caught out by a couple of them, before I managed to work out roughly what was going on, although I have to come clean and say my suspect list was down to two names and I picked the wrong one!

As with any story which has the plight of children as its central theme, this gripping and very disturbing, multi-layered story, is rich in atmosphere, has an air which is constantly crackling with tension and  sense of urgency which has everyone pulling out all the stops to solve. The chapters are just the right length to create natural deep breath breaks, in what is otherwise a fluid, fast moving, intense and confidently written storyline. The descriptive and observational narrative and dialogue, offered both a good sense of time, and a clear commentary about the locations the action took me to. There are no wasted words in this matter of life and death race against the clock.

The characters, although on the whole well developed and drawn, were definitely divided into two distinct camps. Those I was rooting for from the very start and those I loved to hate right from the get-go and the author did a great job at evoking those emotions, with her descriptive and highly visual narrative and dialogue. They were mostly quite open, relatable and fairly easy to engage with and invest in, with some good interaction and synergy between each other and also with me, the reader. However, there were one or two which were really multi-faceted and not altogether genuinely believable, so they were well and truly in my sights as potential ‘baddies’ right from the first time I met them, although I did trip myself up once or twice. Katie was clearly the character with the most emotional baggage, as it would seem, are so many other fictional detectives. Clearly her time in the armed forces and events she had witnessed during her various overseas tours of action, had taken their toll on her emotionally. It seems as though each of her police cases to date, has manged to push one of those warning buttons which have triggered some quite intense and potentially damaging responses. She is fighting her own personal battle to make the transition to civvy street a success and she has some very special people in her life who really want to help her succeed. Most of them are of the two-legged variety, however Katie’s four-legged friend, Cisco, deserves a special mention as the star who stole the show. As double acts go, they don’t get any better than this and I would really like to see Katie flourish and meet her full potential in her new career.

Image of author Jennifer Chase

A complimentary kindle download of this book, for review purposes, was made available by the publisher, and supplied by NetGalley

Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article which promotes this book or its author.

I personally do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall experience is all a matter of personal taste, which varies from reader to reader. However some review sites do demand a rating value, so when this review is posted to such a site, it will attract a well deserved 4 out of 5 stars!

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

View all articles
Leave a Reply to Yvonne Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

14 comments
    • Hi Angie,

      I love that cover too, although the fact that the fragility of both cover art and storyline means that there are children involved, isn’t quite so good!

      I have come into this series as a new reader with book #5 and although I may not have time to go back and catch up with all the minute details I might have missed in the previous episodes, Jennifer made me feel that I wasn’t missing out on anything vital, so I shall be quite happy to carry on with the series from here.

      Thanks for taking the time to visit, I appreciate your support and hope that you have a good weekend! 🙂

    • Katie can sometimes be a bit of a ‘loose canon’, as her PTSD triggers are many and often, although it sounds as though she is getting things back on track a little with therapy sessions.

      She does have her hands full though, when the action switches to another town and the police force there is not so co-operative or keen to help, even though the investigation involves children. I have to admit that things got quite disjointed then, although they did come together more tightly towards the end and it was still a cliff-hanger!

      Thanks for visiting, I appreciate your support 🙂

  • Sounds like an interesting read. I was curious about it and I’m happy to see that it didn’t disappoint at all. I wonder if the pendant/necklace has any relevance to the story.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend. xx

    • Hi Anca,

      I am probably not quite as invested in Katie as some of the other fictional detectives I have met recently. However, as she now seems to be getting some stability into her private life, that may be the turning point for her to put down roots and become more engaging and focussed.

      I like to read a good crime/thriller or murder/mystery at any time, so it would be unusual for me not to enjoy a book from the genre.

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend to! 🙂

    • Hi Kelly,

      I think if we are now up to book #5 and Katie is still struggling with her PTSD as badly as it seems to me, I’m not sure whether there is any more room for her continued recovery. She is quite fragile, although determined, but events still get the better of her emotionally, all too easily.

      For me, this worked okay as a stand alone story though, but knowing you as I do, I just know that this is one series you would have to invest in right from the beginning.

      Maybe if you fancy a bit of ‘binge reading’ one day…! 🙂

      Great to have you visit, as always 🙂

    • Hi Heather,

      This one definitely has plenty of twists in the storyline and an ending to die for!

      I really enjoyed the read and it does work okay as a stand alone story, which also helps.

      A good murder/mystery or crime thriller, will always be my ‘go to’ genre of choice.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have some great reads planned for next week 🙂

  • I’ve read Jennifer Chase before and this one sounds good. That premise is gut wrenching. That’s good this worked as a stand alone and the author fills in the backstory enough. Fantastic review! Hope you are doing well.

    • Hi Naida,

      This is my first time of reading Jennifer’s books, but it definitely won’t be my last, as I did enjoy her writing style.

      I generally find it quite easy to separate a backstory from the individual case and can usually read a story for what it is in the moment. It is always an added bonus when an author fills in details of a backstory and Jennifer does that nicely.

      All is well here thanks. We have both had our first vaccinations, just have to wait anything up to 12 weeks for the second dose now and hope that I don’t get the horrible ‘flu like side effects I got with the first lot. I was totally wiped out for a couple of days!

      It is great to have you back in Blogland and I hope that you and yours are all keeping well and staying safe 🙂

    • I just can’t get on with audiobooks, as I don’t enjoy being read to, and never have done, even as a child.

      Katie Scott is definitely a character worth investing in, especially as she is trying so hard to overcome her PTSD issues and be able to integrate more easily into civilian life.

      Thanks for visiting and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

Written by Yvonne

Archives