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.
Praise for R. H. Herron and Stolen Things
“Exciting storytelling and great characters make Stolen Things a powerhouse read. The writing is superb and I can’t wait for her next book!”—Iris Johansen, New York Times bestselling author
"An addictive thriller that starts with a bang and only gets more twisted as you read."—Hello Giggles
"Herron has worked as a 911 dispatcher for many years, and her debut is infused with both the emotional truths and daily details of her life’s work. . . . A textbook study of tension and secrets in small-town America."—CrimeReads
“Herron treats us to a thriller that slowly peels back the layers of dirty secrets kept by all the people involved . . . An intense read. Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter or Lisa Scottoline.”—Library Journal
“Herron, a former emergency dispatcher, offers a twisty revenge tale buoyed by successful red herrings, relatable characters, and headline-grabbing themes.”—Booklist
"Riveting . . . Herron is definitely a writer to watch."—Publishers Weekly
“The book confronts a slew of today’s issues . . . with pathos and conviction. Chapters are short, emotional bursts of energy that fuel the quest for answers. . . . Stolen Things explores the lengths we go to recover what is lost.”--Bookpage
“Stolen Things is a fast-paced thriller with layers of plot twists. Readers may go into the story with certain expectations but will be pleasantly surprised by how much deeper the storyline goes. Through the lens of the mother-daughter narrative, Herron addresses issues about major topics including sexual assault, race, identity/sexuality, and the role of social media in our society that feel like they’ve been ripped straight from current headlines.”--Booktrib.com “R. H. Herron’s Stolen Things is a powerful debut. With tight, cutting prose and a breakneck pace, Herron crafts a haunting tale of a family’s shattering inflection point. Tragic, twisty, and timely, Stolen Things keeps you guessing while simultaneously breaking your heart a little. Thriller readers will surely be adding R. H. Herron to their favorite-author list.”—Carter Wilson, USA Today bestselling author of Mister Tender’s Girl
"Herron writes this story as only a seasoned 911 dispatcher can—gripping us with a cry for help that hits home and steering us, come what may, to the breathless finish. Stolen Things is an urgent, timely tale that transports readers into the minds on both ends of that worst-nightmare call: a daughter desperate for help, and a mother who will have to pass the ultimate test to give it."—Jessica Strawser, author of Not That I Could Tell
"Stolen Things is relentless, a vortex that sucks you in, yet sparkles with grace notes that keep the story from being too dark. This book stays with you long after you close the pages."—Toby Neal, USA Today bestselling author