Two little girls walked to their deaths and nobody noticed…

A gripping new thriller featuring the brilliantly complex psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn, who struggles with a dark past.

Two bodies on the beach. One killer out for revenge.

Two years ago, a young girl was murdered while playing on the beach, a doll left by her side. DI Bobby ‘Marilyn’ Simmons failed to catch her killer and he’s been tormented with guilt ever since.

So when another dead girl is found in the dunes, another doll, he knows this could be his only chance to silence his demons.

Psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn is called in to help with the investigation. But she’s being led into a web of lies and deceit by a new patient called Laura – a deeply disturbed woman who wants Jessie as her friend.

When links emerge between Laura and the two dead girls, Jessie’s worst nightmare becomes reality. For in the dark world of a twisted killer, she begins to realize just how treacherous friends can be…

Two Little Girls is the third instalment in Kate Medina’s Jessie Flynn series, but works perfectly well as a stand-alone novel if you haven’t read the previous 2 (I hadn’t).

A little girl is found strangled on a popular tourist beach, with a dolly at her side & a love heart made of seashells surrounding her body. DI ‘Marilyn’ Simmons (real name Bobby, nicknamed after Manson, not Monroe), apart from being sickened by the crime, is more horrified than most as 2 years ago he worked on an identical murder, that of 8 year old Zoe Reynolds, he is convinced, carried out by the hand of her Mother, Carolynn. However Carolynn was acquitted due to lack of evidence and after the case, got the hell out of Dodge with her husband Roger.

When the little girl is identified as local girl Jodie Trigg, Marilyn swallows down his guilt at failing Zoe, and resolves to solve this case once and for all and find justice for both little girls. This includes tracking down Carolynn and Roger, and tying up those loose ends he keeps finding in the back of his mind.

Jessie Flynn is an ex-army psychiatrist, recently invalided out of the military after a violent incident that left her with a damaged hand. It also left her with a rather fantastic man, Ben Callan. Jessie suffers with OCD which is heightened after her recent change in circumstances, but she is keeping it largely under control apart from a few blips.

Jessie has recently been treating a troubled client, Laura. Laura has told Jessie that she lost her daughter 2 years ago in a car accident after she let go of her hand on a busy road, and is understandably having problems in coming to terms with it. She also exhibits some strange behaviours, such as wanting to be friends with Jessie outside of her sessions, which of course, is a big no-no.

When the news breaks of Jodie’s murder, Jessie sees ‘Laura’ on the news identified as Caroynn Reynolds, wanted to help police with their enquiries into Jodie Trigg’s death. Jessie is stunned, and conflicted. Should she tell the police what she knows and betray Carolynn’s trust or should she keep quiet?

After a discussion with Callan, where he begs her to see sense and contact the police, frustrated, and fearful for Jessie’s safety, Callan goes ahead and does it for her. Shortly aftewards, DI Marilyn appears on Jessie’s doorstep demanding that the pair team up to find Carolynn and Roger. As a consultant to the police on major crimes, Jessie reluctantly agrees, although she is far from convinced that Marilyn has the right person in the frame for the crime.

Two Little Girls is a complex read; Jessie’s character is clearly struggling with things that have happened to her, and is struggling to find a sense of normality inside this new life, and alongside her OCD. The characters are believable, their relationships flawed and difficult. There are themes of violence, neglect, mental health and deception, all of which lead to an intriguing mystery with a strong ending.

*I would like to thank the publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book via Netgalley in return for an honest review.