We start the book with Jojo, a bit of a rebellious teen who’s keeping secrets. Her father, Omid, is a police officer, her mother Laurie, a 911 dispatcher. They work a lot of hours which leaves Jojo with a lot of free time. Laurie’s deepest fears are realized when it’s her daughter’s voice on the other end of the 911 line.
The hunt for her daughter doesn’t go on long, but when she is found, she isn’t alone. NFL star Kevin is in the house asleep and there’s a dead body not too far from where Jojo is found. She’s been drugged and raped, and Kevin is the prime suspect. But that would be too easy to end there. There are multiple suspects and you can’t trust anyone, especially the police.
But now Jojo’s friend Harper is missing. Her parents didn’t even know that they were hanging out again. They stopped being friends two years ago. Multiple secrets keep coming to light. The story is told through Laurie and Jojo so it’s nice to get alternating perspectives because Jojo is the one holding a lot of the secrets.
There was one major thing that kept this from being a 5-star read for me. Laurie had just gone through something major, and her co-worker Sarah declares “I think you have some kind of PTSD.” I’m not sure what she means by “some kind”, and I would think that anyone in the police department would know that you don’t get diagnosed for PTSD in 3 days. In fact, you have to have been suffering for 6 months before you can be diagnosed with it. Could she be suffering post-traumatic stress? Sure, but not post-traumatic stress disorder. The author then goes on to write Laurie having a conversation about PTSD, in which she says to herself “If she was going crazy, she wanted to know about it.” Which for me implies that people with PTSD are crazy. As a sufferer with PTSD, I appreciate it when authors include that in their books, but not so poorly, and not so offensively. It would be nice if the author took all of that out of the book completely.
Aside from the issue I have above, Stolen Things was very well-written, once the action started, it was non-stop, and once the secrets started to come to light, there were more of them at every turn. There was a constant stream of situations to keep the reader occupied. When Laurie felt she got one thing resolved, another popped up. It was a quick, non-stop action mystery-thriller.