Full Disclosure – I was provided a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review
Murder by the Dawn’s early light
Dawn Girl takes place in South Florida and is the story of Tess Winnett, an FBI agent with a troubled past and demons of her own. With 10 years as an agent under her belt and recently having lost her partner in the line of duty, Winnett struggles to play nice with others, and it has caused several complaints to come her way. In a last ditch effort to correct her course, her superior has assigned her to work with local police in a murder case in nearby Juno Beach. A girl is found, posed in a prayerful position on a beach at dawn. It is up to Tess and her team to determine if “Dawn Girl” is a one off murder or part of a serial killer’s work. As time ticks down, Agent Winnett’s own personal demons come back to haunt her as the details surrounding Dawn Girl and other possible related incidents are all too familiar to our FBI agent. Can Tess overcome her demons and prevent another murder, or will her secrets and inner demons be her downfall?
Being a Floridian, I am almost always drawn to books that feature my home state, and this book did not disappoint. Set in the Miami- Dade and Palm Beach County areas it was very easy for me to envision the terrain. From the high rise multi-million dollar condos along Collins Blvd to flashy South Beach and the nighttime club scene this book immediately caught my attention and would not let me go. There was very little down time which I liked – the story moved fast enough that I didn’t feel like I missed anything although I did find myself going back and re reading previous chapters and sections as I started forming my own theories as to who the killer could be.
Agent Winnett as a main character is likeable – a ballsy young FBI agent, a bit damaged and hiding a secret that could very well end her career. It made me root for her to find the killer and hopefully bring closure to her past. The fact that it seemed that the protagonist may have had a very similar experience to the victims added an element of empathy and urgency that was a smack in the face with reality to the local detectives who just saw this as “another case”. This book would work well as a standalone however I would love to read more cases involving Agent Winnett. There seems to be more to this character that we have yet to see.