The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni

30226698When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?

After evidence surfaces that their Jane Doe may be a woman who suspiciously disappeared months earlier, Tracy is once again haunted by the memory of her sister’s unsolved murder. Dredging up details from the woman’s past leads to conflicting clues that only seem to muddy the investigation. As Tracy begins to uncover a twisted tale of brutal betrayal and desperate greed, she’ll find herself risking everything to confront a killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight.

In the early hours of a summer day in Seattle, a teenager out to make a little extra money by illegally crabbing manages to net more than he bargained for – much more. Instead of crabs in his cages, he pulls up the body of a young woman.  How she got there isn’t clear but what is is that it wasn’t an accident, she was murdered.  Enter Tracy Crosswhite , who is fast becoming one of my favourite female detectives.

Tracy is a great character.  She’s tough but not hard, loved by her team and by her boyfriend Dan (who unfortunately I didn’t get as much of as I would have liked in this outing).  She’s also got history that means she starts to feel connected for the woman she thinks has been found and the life she lived.  Like Tracy (who lost her sister 20 years previously) the dead woman’s life has been touched by tragedy, nothing it seems has gone right for her.

I said “thinks” and “seems” because, determined to find out what happened to the young woman, the more Tracy digs the more confused she (and you as a reader becomes).  Nothing is as it seems.  For Tracy, it’s frustrating, especially when her path is blocked by a neighbouring police force who believe they have jurisdiction and a boss who can’t be bothered to fight for her.  For me, as a reader, I loved the confusion.  I really didn’t know where the story would take me next as it took one twist after another.

And, unlike other books I have read, where the twists sometimes just seem to be there for the sake of it, here every one made me go “of course” and nod my head knowingly as if it had been obvious from the beginning (when, of course, it hadn’t been at all).  The whole story was really cleverly plotted, with nothing rushed, and right until the end I was convinced it would end one way, only to find out I had been completely wrong all along…brilliant!

Liking and rooting for Tracy is an obvious plus and selling point for me in this series but, in this book, it was also nice was getting to know her team more than I have in any other story – her partner, Kins, already felt pretty solid and well rounded to me but, here, I also got to properly meet the two other members of her team (or family as they call themselves), Del and Faz.  They are great characters, full of life and personality and good cops in their own right. I want more in the next book as they make a great team.

And I do hope there is a next book as, for me, this series is just getting better and better with each book.  It says something that, after only discovering it last year thanks to a review on bibliophile book club, I have read every book in the series.  Not only do they have the great characters I have mentioned but they are great stories, well written with twists and turns a plenty and a real sense of place – I want to visit Seattle now despite the death count.  I can’t recommend them highly enough (and for those who don’t want to go back to the beginning, don’t worry they can be read as standalone I think) – loved this book!



Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 24th January, 2017
Pages: 378
Format: ebook (Kindle)
Genre: crime fiction

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in return for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.

For my other reviews of Robert Dugoni books:

My Sister’s Grave (book 1)

Her Final Breath (book 2)

Have realised I never wrote a review for book three but, trust me, it’s good (I’ll now have to see if I can get one written up!)



  1. I have Her Sister’s Grave sat unread on my Kindle so maybe I should fish it out. The Trapped Girl sounds like an all round enjoyable read, particularly the subtlety of Tracy’s character, tough but not hard is good.


    • I think it’s worth it. I definitely think each has got better but I have enjoyed them all…I don’t read that many American based crime books as I find a lot of detectives are too hard talking and gun toting but not the case here.


  2. I love books and movies set in Seattle. The gray days and rainy weather, plus the nearby water and islands, add to the possibilities for eerie events. This definitely sounds like a book I would enjoy, as I also love getting to know the detective characters that are following the clues. Thanks for sharing.


    • IT was on a 99p sale last year so if you are like me you may well have. I really do recommend them (plus my first Cloak and Dagger book is now done!)


  3. I’m going to need you to review all science fiction or dystopian for awhile because you’re KILLING my TBR with all these dark psychological thrillers. This one is completely new to me but I love the sound of it. It’s always such an achievement when an author manages to make a story super twisty and confusing without the book seeming like a mess and that sounds what the author has done here. I must read this one!.


    • Sorry. If it makes you feel better I do plan on reading some sci-fi as its a genre I never read so set myself a challenge this year. I agree on it being hard to have a book with twists but not seem messy – so many times they feel like they are just there for the sake of it too.


  4. I really liked the first in this series and can’t believe so much time has gone by that there are a few others since. I will have to go on a bit of a bender and catch up. Thanks for your review.


    • Is it time or do books seem to come out so much quicker nowadays? It might be my age but I swear there used to be longer between books in a series.


  5. This sounds like a great read and just my sort of thing. Think I’ll have to go and find the first one in the series and add it to my TBR list for the year.


  6. […] The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni, the fourth in the Tracy Crosswhite series of books and probably my favourite January read.  I love Tracy, her passion for her job and her friends, her ability to relate to the victims (as she does here) and her unwillingness to let go of a case when she knows a killer is out there. […]


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