I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Toybox by Charly Cox on my blog today as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Sarah Hardy from Books on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part.
You don’t want to play their games…
All around Albuquerque, New Mexico, young women are going missing, seemingly vanished into thin air. With no link between the victims, Detective Alyssa Wyatt is quickly plunged into a horrifying case with no obvious clues.
And when Jersey Andrews, the best friend of Alyssa’s teenage daughter, Holly, joins the list of vanished girls, the case becomes personal.
But this investigation will lead Alyssa and partner Cord into the most sinister depths of humanity; an evil place where life is expendable, and where the depraved can fulfil their darkest desires – if they have the money to pay for it.
As the first bodies appear, abandoned on the streets, Alyssa is forced into a frantic hunt to track down the killers – before more innocent women lose their lives. But when the truth comes out, it seems that the key to solving the case was hiding in the last place anyone expected…
The Toybox is a dark police procedural by Charly Cox, examining the horrific world of human trafficking. This book sees the return of Detective Alyssa Wyatt. Alyssa’s own family is still reeling from the horrific events which happened to them in book one in the series when Alyssa’s son was kidnapped. You don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy this one, but I would recommend it if you want to get a better understanding of the characters and what they have previously been through.
It doesn’t seem as though Alyssa Wyatt’s family is going to be left in peace after what happened to them, when her daughter’s best friend, Jersey goes missing after a frat party. In the opening chapter, Charly Cox draws you into the moments prior to Jersey’s disappearance, and she creates an unnerving, claustrophobic feeling as the party gets underway. Charly has created some instantly dislikeable characters in this book, and I found this particularly with one young man, who Alyssa is hoping to connect to the crimes, and with the parents of one of the missing girls. You can see just how angry these characters make Alyssa and the other detectives working on the case feel. It also made me feel angry that there are people who are like this out there in the world.
I must admit, however, I did find the build-up of the book quite slow. After the opening scenes, it did take time for the tension to get going again. But I did want to find out what was going to happen to the girls who had been kidnapped. I was rooting for Alyssa to reach the answers before it was too late. There are some really tense scenes when we see where the girls have been taken, and Charly Cox made it seem as though time was running out for them.
The tension really turns up a notch as the book reaches its climax. I don’t want to go into too much detail here as I don’t want to spoil it, but Charly Cox still kept me gripping the page as I felt that there was still the possibility that something could go drastically wrong.
I enjoyed catching up with Detective Alyssa Wyatt again in this book, and I will be looking forward to seeing what Charly Cox comes up with next. If you enjoy gritty police procedurals, then I would recommend giving these books a go.
Publisher: Hera Books
Publication date: 3rd June 2020
The Toybox is available to buy:
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