Featured: Black Orchid Girls by Carolyn Arnold
Review: “Compulsive, compelling and enthralling… I became completely riveted… Intrigue to compel you to read through the night.”
The first rays of sun filter through the tall trees, casting a faint light on the girl lying at the water’s edge. Her tears have frozen on her pale face, a black orchid rests against her cold white skin.
When hikers find the body of a beautiful young girl on the banks of the Potomac River, Detective Amanda Steele is shaken and confused. What is the significance of the delicate flower resting on the girl’s torso? A sign of affection, or a twisted killer’s calling card?
The girl is Chloe Somner, a local nineteen-year-old ecology student well-known to the park rangers and loved by all her classmates. Searching Chloe’s home, Amanda can’t work out who could have tempted her to the water in the early hours of the morning, but a long night hunting through cold cases gives her a possible lead: twenty years ago another local girl was murdered, a red rose left on her body. But why would this killer strike again now?
Focused on the past, the last thing Amanda expects is the news that Chloe’s roommate has been found dead, another black orchid left. Terrified that more innocent victims will follow, can Amanda uncover the significance of the flowers and stop this cold-hearted killer before he returns for the next orchid girl…?
Meet Carolyn Arnold:
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an internationally bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor.
She has several continuing fiction series and has many published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories.
Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.
Review by JennlyT:
She was young, smart, and beautiful. An activist who loved protecting the environment down to the smallest snail. But when she is discovered naked, stabbed multiple times, and dramatically posed in her beloved state park with a black orchid adorning her chest, the speculations fly.
Who would want to murder Chloe Sumner in this most brutal way? Was it a jealous classmate, an unrequited crush, class rival, ex-boyfriend, or someone entirely different? Detectives Steele and Stenson are on the case, following up lead after lead but the more progress they make, there always seems to be something that sets them back.
Then when a second body is discovered the rumblings of a serial killer begin. The similarities between Chloe’s murder and the newest victim are almost identical but also very similar to a cold case from twenty years ago. Is there a possibility that the killer has returned, but why now?
As Amanda gets closer to the truth, she also must navigate a personal development that may threaten her looming adoption of Zoe. Can she keep her personal concerns out of her professional life, or will her growing affection for the little girl cause a distraction that ends up placing Detective Steele in harm’s way?
Black Orchid Girls is the fourth in the Detective Amanda Steele series of books by international best-selling author Carolyn Arnold. Picking up shortly after the close of The Silent Witness, Amanda and the orphaned Zoe have settled into a comfortable routine. While Zoe may never be a replacement for Amanda’s daughter she is helping to heal old wounds and vanquish the demons of grief. Having read this series from the beginning, the change in Detective Steele from The Little Grave and Black Orchid Girls is like night and day.
The once resigned, self-destructive, hard-hearted Amanda is more vibrant, optimistic, and levelheaded. As I get more into this series it is apparent that this is not your typical police procedural novel. In crafting this series,
Arnold has taken great care to provide a realistic backstory for even what seems to be the smallest character. In this approach we also see some backstories interweaving with characters in other books. I like this as it leaves options open for a larger cross-story adventure in the future rather than the occasional Brandon Fisher cameo.
With Black Orchid Girls, Arnold has once again delivered a page-turner of a novel that will have the reader guessing until the final reveal. As with all of Arnold’s books that I have read to date, even though this is part of a larger series,
Black Orchid Girls can also be enjoyed as a standalone novel without the reader feeling as if they are missing parts of the story. With this chapter of Detective Steele’s life coming to a close along with the case, I am eager to see what Carolyn Arnold has planned in the upcoming books in this series.
Please click HERE to find Black Orchid Girls on Amazon.