R.H. Herron’s story, Stolen Things, begins with an ending. One of the biggest endings in anyone’s life: Innocence. A teenage girl is raped; left scared, alone, and desperate for help. In a weird twist of fate, her mother, a dispatcher at the local police department, is the one that answers the 911 call. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. What begins as a heart wrenching tale of stolen innocence soon evolves into a tale of trust, scandal, police brutality, and murder. Herron is not afraid to confront readers with topics that currently run hot in American society, such as racism and xenophobia. All the while, she manages to keep tensions high and the story’s pace going at dizzying speeds. Despite some awkward hiccups with keeping to consistent characterization, Stolen Things is very much a well-intentioned and thrilling debut novel from a promising author.
With one call, her daughter’s life is on the line.
Laurie Ahmadi has worked as a 911 police dispatcher in her quiet Northern California town for almost two decades, but nothing in her nearly twenty years of experience could prepare her for the worst call of her career—her teenage daughter, Jojo, is on the other end of the line. She is drugged, disoriented, and in pain, and even though the whole police department springs into action, there is nothing Laurie can do to help.
Jojo, who has been sexually assaulted, doesn’t remember how she ended up at the home of Kevin Leeds, a pro football player famous for his work with the Citizens Against Police Brutality movement, though she insists he would never hurt her. And she has no idea where her best friend, Harper, who was with her earlier in the evening, could be.
As Jojo and Laurie begin digging into Harper’s private messages on social media to look for clues to her whereabouts, they uncover a conspiracy far bigger than they ever could have imagined. With Kevin’s freedom on the line and the chances of finding Harper unharmed slipping away, Laurie and Jojo begin to realize that they can’t trust anyone to find Harper except themselves, not even the police department they’ve long considered family . . . and time is running out.
About the Author
Stolen Things is the first suspense novel by R. H. Herron, the pseudonym of an author who lives and teaches writing in California. For seventeen years she worked as a 911 fire/medical dispatcher, and this book is loosely inspired by actual events.