When Last Seen
A Hunter and Tate Mystery: #2
by Brenda Chapman
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Pub Date 01 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 12 Apr 2023
Ivy Bay Press, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles
The hardest part is not knowing…
Ottawa is baking under a July heatwave when the Homicide and Major Crimes Unit is called to help track down missing three-year-old Charlie McGowan. This is the second missing person case in nine months — a university exchange student never made it back to her Carleton University residence from a downtown party in November.
At first, the two disappearances appear unrelated, but as true crime podcaster Ella Tate and Detective Liam Hunter dig deeper into both files, unsettling relationships begin to emerge. Evidence, however, remains frustratingly out of reach as the clock keeps ticking and concern for both missing victims takes on a heightened urgency.
And then Liam Hunter gets a call that a body’s been found on the Ottawa River Parkway …
A Note From the Publisher
Illustrated by Laura Boyle
“The dynamics between Hunter and Tate - true friends and colleagues without being lovers - forms the heart of this intricate, riveting tale of a missing child, family jealousy, business skullduggery, and the deepest sort of betrayal. Hunter and Tate are a duo to root for. I'm looking forward to their next outing.”
—Vicki Delany, national bestselling author
“Once again, Brenda Chapman serves up a compelling array of complex characters, disturbing situations and twisty plotlines. What’s not to love?”
—Mary Jane Maffini, Author of the Charlotte Adams and Camilla MacPhee mysteries
"A wonderful book, beautifully written and engrossing. I was drawn in and carried along from the first chapter right through to the last page."
—Alex Brett, Author of the Morgan O’Brien mysteries
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 24 members
WHEN LAST SEEN is the second in Brenda Chapman’s excellent Hunter andTate mystery series , following the successful series 2022 launch in BLIND DATE. The story begins with the disappearance of three-year-old Charlie, who vanished from his parents’ yard during a moment of maternal inattention. Detective Liam Hunter leads the police inquiry, and once again he unofficially exchanges info with investigative reporter/podcaster Ella Tate. Meanwhile a Chinese exchange student is also missing; that investigation is nearly stalled, but unsavory details are emerging. The plot gets more complicated from there, with multiple twists, red herrings, high-octane suspense and finally —after ramping up the high-wire tension— a satisfying ending. I highly recommend this book, along with the first in the series! And watch for more.
This book had all of the elements for a great thriller: lots of twists, a page turner and overall great dynamics and relationships between the characters.
I had a hard time putting this one down and found myself thinking about it in between reading sessions. I did not read the first book in this series, but I don't think that took too much out of my reading experience. I didn't have a hard time following along at all.
I also loved that this author is from Ottawa and this book also takes place in Ottawa, I loved hearing references of my city from a book!
I would recommend this one to friends and I will also be checking out other books by this author.
Thank you NetGalley for this advanced reading copy in exchange for my honest review.
Great story about a missing child. The case is like an octopus with leads pulling in many different directions. Each lead touches on unsavory characters, or the darker sides of those closest to the child. Hunter is an honest cop that is friends with Tate, a podcaster with the ability to read people. Tate is able to get answers that seem beyond normal police channels,. The two are able to work together to draw the leads together, find connections between people and crimes, and propel the investigation to a startling conclusion. The interplay between Hunter and Tate is genuine, and it is nice to see a relationship that is traditionally taboo but not romantic or exploitative. They are a great duo, and the story is quite the thriller!
This is the second outing for Detective Liam Hunter and Tru-Crime podcaster Ella Tate.
It's a steamy summer's day in Ottawa when three year old Charlie McGowan goes missing. A moment of inattention by his very pregnant mother and poof, he's gone. Hunter is assigned the case and begins working flat out to find the boy. But Charlie's not the only one missing. Nine months earlier a young foreign student disappeared after attending a party hosted by a notorious gangster. Leads have dried up. No one wants to talk to the police. As Hunter and Tate begin to look into Charlie's disappearance some startling information appears in the student's case. Are they linked? It's up to Hunter using police methods, and Tate her journalism approach to discover the ugly truth behind both disappearances.
An excellent 4 star read. Well written, interesting characters and setting. Will definitely read more of her work. Thank you for the ARC copy Netgalley.
Full of twists and turns, When Last Seen is the second outing for Ottowan crime solving duo Hunter and Tate, and it certainly delivers what a good mystery should; red herrings, false leads, oblique clues, high stakes, and interweaving stories of crime and betrayal. Particularly liked the introduction of Sara, the elder half-sister of missing Charlie's, as a mirror of Ella who is made in her image as a sort of amateur PI, and hope we might see more of her in future titles.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for access to this ARC.
Many thanks to both Ivy Bay Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an early copy of When Last seen.
Expected publication April 1, 2023
When Last seen is a riveting tale of a missing child, family jealousy, mysterious business dealings, and the deepest sort of betrayal. Not to mention twisty plotlines!
I very much liked true crime podcaster Ella Tate, as well as Detective Liam Hunter. They were quite the good team. Hands down, my favorite character was Sara, the teenage wannabe P.I.! It took me a wee bit to get into the story, as there were quite a few characters to keep track of in the beginning. The more I read, the more interesting the different narratives became. I was quite satisfied with the conclusion!
A 3-year old child goes missing - wandered off or abducted? A Chinese student goes missing - accidental or deliberate? Detective Liam Hunter and his team are baffled because there are no leads whatsoever. His friend Ella Tate, podcaster, is also on the case and the two work together within reasonable police-not police boundaries. Family dynamics, dodgy business men, gangsters all add to a twisty and well-written story. The two main characters work well together and, so far, none of the "will they/won't they" romantic aspects - long may that last..
For once I did not see the end coming which is always a bonus for me. Descriptions of place are good and you get the feel of a sultry, stifling summer in Ottawa; I also like Sara, half sister of the missing toddler and curious teenager with a future methinks. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy.
If you want a book where you will never see the ending coming, this is the one! An cleverly written thriller, it's got so many original characters who are so realistically crafted. There are twists and turns galore. I did think it was a but slow to start but once I got a handle on who was who and started caring about their stories then i was absolutely hooked. This is the kind of book that you give up sleep to read just one more chapter. Highly recommend
Great story. It's #2 in the author's Hunter and Tate series, but reads fine by itself. Love a good mystery.
A true crimes vibe throughout. I love true crime podcasts and Ella Tate is a true crimes podcaster in this book. This was an easy ready. This story easily pulled me in and I finished the book pretty quick - you just wanted to find out what who why when and where. Highly recommend this mystery/thriller.
Thank you NetGalley and Ivy Bay Press for the eARC. All opinions expressed are of my own.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Ivy Bay Press for an advance copy of When Last Seen, the second novel to feature Detective Liam Hunter of Ottawa’s Major Crimes Unit and podcaster/freelance journalist Ella Tate.
There is a bad feeling when three year old Charlie McGowan disappears from his back garden. With most of the team still involved in the hunt for Chinese exchange student Meilin Hanon who disappeared nine months ago it falls to Hunter to investigate Charlie’s disappearance. At first glance there would appear to be no connection between the cases but as Hunter and Tate start to dig deeper links begin to emerge.
I enjoyed When Last Seen, which is an engaging read with some big twists, well, maybe not twists, more surprises and likeable characters. It is told from various points of view, giving the reader a wider perspective on events, and because all these voices have a contribution to make it’s not as distracting as it could be when they change.
I like the logic of a police procedural where A leads to B then as many letters as required to solve the case. This novel is a good example of that where the disappearance of a child leads to a host of other crimes, unsavoury characters and secrets. I was quite impressed by the way the author got from start to finish using this logic. The telling of the novel is low key with little in the way of action scenes until an explosive finale, but it steamrolls through lies and prevarications relentlessly. I like the timely reveals and turns that keep the pages turning and the reader speculating. I must admit that the perpetrator’s identity came as a surprise to me and I liked that.
Hunter and Tate are a good combination. He is the detective and she is the journalist. They both have access to information the other doesn’t and I like their decision making in what to share, it’s interesting. In this novel we shouldn’t forget girl detective Sara McGowan, Charlie’s 17 year old half sister. She has been doing her own investigating and has several big contributions to make.
When Last Seen is a good read that I can recommend.
Riveting Canadian mystery!
A three-year-old child’s disappeared! In the Crystal Beach neighbourhood near the banks of the Ottawa River. Anguish and pain! Charlie McGowan is the half brother to Roddy and Sara from a previous marriage. An AMBER alert is issued.
Charlie’s father David has a roving eye and seems to be unable to resist playing around.
Detective Liam Hunter and his partner Julie Quade are investigating this and an earlier disappearance of an Asian student, last seen partying at an escort’s party. Liam’s gut feeling is that Charlie’s disappearance is personal.
Wouldn’t it be strange if the two were linked someone joked? It may or may not be beyond the realm of possibility.
Ella Tate is a podcaster and journalist. She’s known to Liam from a previous case.There’s an air, a current of sympatico between them. Liam helps her occasionally and she aids him.
With this case Ella is soon deeply involved. She identifies with Sara, understands her. Ella interviews Sara’s father and step mother Ginger about their missing child, in part due to the number of followers her pod cast reaches.
There’s a lot happening here. Sara disappears for three days at one stage. Her reasons why are completely understandable. It’s hard to take on board how at risk she is. Where that risk is coming from is frightening.
Inside work, Liam has his suspicions about another officer, Kurt Auger, and his work ethic. Auger, newly recruited from another department has his eyes on a top job. It turns out he’s a sleaze, although that hadn’t been picked up when we left.
Set in Ottawa, this is a slick and comprehensive police thriller. Fast moving and intriguing it all comes together with a move I didn’t see coming.
An Independent ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.
4 1/2 stars. I really enjoyed this, and now I want to read the first book in the series! Recommended.
The first book I have read in this series but good as a stand-alone. A solid four star read. Great premise. Well written. Good characters. Page turner. Plenty of suspense to keep me guessing but I felt the ending a bit rushed. I definitely would read her next novel. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to review it.
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