Book Review: The Next Girl by Carla Kovach

About the Book

She thought he’d come to save her. She was wrong. 

Deborah Jenkins pulls her coat around her as she sets out on her short walk home in the pouring rain. But she never makes it home that night. And she is never seen again …

Four years later, an abandoned baby girl is found wrapped in dirty rags on a doorstep. An anonymous phone call urges the police to run a DNA test on the baby. But nobody is prepared for the results.

The newborn belongs to Deborah. She’s still alive.

My Thoughts

An abandoned baby is found at the entrance of a local library. Testing confirms the baby shares DNA with Deborah Jenkins; the same Deborah Jenkins who went missing without a trace four years ago. The disappearance of Deborah, a loving wife and mother still haunts Detective Inspector Gina Harte and this time around she is determined to get to the bottom of this case.

Well, how’s that for a twist?! In addition to trying to discover who took Deborah, we also spend a lot of time with the family Deborah left behind. Her heartbroken husband still loves her, her children miss her and her mother still holds out hope she is alive.
While we readers always know more about Deborah than those looking for her, we don’t know who took her, so it’s up to DI Harte and her team to uncover the truth.

I liked the varied personalities of DI Harte’s team, with a special mention going out to DC O’Connor’s wife for introducing me to Herman Cake, but I did feel there was a lack of camaraderie at times. Perhaps this is because DI Harte herself is quite closed off? She definitely has some serious personal issues and I assume will be explored in later books, but I felt I did not know her as much as I would have liked in this book.

I also wish we spent a bit more time with the Jenkins family at the end of the book. Their new reality requires significant adjustment and I felt like their story was tied up too quickly at the end.

Overall, the book held my attention and I look forward to future DI Gina Harte books.

 About the Author

Carla Kovach was born in Birmingham, UK and now resides in Redditch, Worcestershire. Author of supernatural drama 'Flame,' psychological thriller 'To Let,' crime thriller 'Whispers Beneath the Pines, and romantic comedy 'Meet Me at Marmaris Castle.' Carla also writes stage and screen plays, some of which have been produced in the Worcestershire area.