Stolen

Whitley & Keal Mystery, Book 3
Narrated by: Amy Deuchler
Series: Whitley & Keal Mysteries, Book 3
Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Another homicide has rocked the small town of Fallsburg, New York. In a cabin nestled deep in the woods, two male victims are discovered, both gunshot victims. One is deceased the other one is barely alive.

But it is not the murder itself that has detectives Jean Whitley and her new partner Marty Keal frantic to find out the answers of what occurred in that cabin, it is the identities of the two small children also found at the scene. One child is quickly identified, but the other, a young boy, remains a mystery. The only one with possible answers is the man who lays critically wounded and unconscious in the hospital, because the unidentified boy either cannot or will not speak.

What happened in that cabin that left one man dead and another barely hanging on?

©2017 Dawn Kopman Whidden (P)2018 Dawn Kopman Whidden

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Each Character is it's Own Mystery

This book is layered and nuanced. Most basically it is a 'Who done it', however untangling both the characters and even the setting is more complex and ultimately more rewarding in my opinion than puzzling out the 'Who done it'.

The narrator does a great job with the female voices, and even the gruff male voices, however she seems to have a problem with normal male voices and goes slightly nasal-ly. Otherwise the performance is good, and even passionate in the emotionally charged scenes. Even with the challenging voices, the narrator is still engaging enough to be immersive.

The action transfers from wilderness, to suburban, to downtown city. The action between these transitions is in itself thrilling but also organic as it switches back and forth. Another area where this book blurs the lines and my personal favorite focus of the book is the reasons for abnormal behavior such as prolonged exposure to negative conditions, chemical imbalances, obsessive need, physical injury, childhood environment, or mental condition. The book also points out how people who encounter these conditions from parents, to strangers, to emergency responders, to police to medical professionals must correctly identify and deal with each of these. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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It kept my attention

This is a sad story, and unfortunately our world is full of these kind of child abuse and kidnappings. Very emotional. I would prefer to skip the bad language.

The narrator did a good job.

I received this audio-book free for an honest review by the author, narrator, or publisher. Thank you!!!

If you found this review helpful would you please take a moment to click yes below, thanks!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Intense!

This is an emotional story of kidnapping, child abuse, and murder. It is well written with a gripping story line and likable characters. Amy Deuchler did a great job narrating this book. I highly recommend Stolen, along with the entire series, to anyone who loves a good mystery. This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Ripped from the Headlines

This is my second book in the series, as I have missed #2. This is a fast-paced novel that seems to be ripped from the headlines and can be a stand-alone; however having heard the 1st book did give me some background on some of the characters. The book deals with disturbing issues about child abuse and abduction and had me captivated from the get go. The story was easy to follow with twists and turns along the way. Thoroughly enjoyable.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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Gripping, heart wrenching story

This is an amazing, intense story that grabs at your heart from the very beginning. It is a well written and narrated audiobook that weaves a heart wrenching tale of kidnaping, child abuse, murder and psychological trauma. The author and narrator manage to make you experience the emotions and visualize the horrible things that happened without been graphic. The narrator gave the characters individual voices and made their emotions feel real. Your heart breaks for the traumatized characters and you feel real anger twists the perpetrator. The detectives and their families easily endear you to them and you will become totally invested in all the characters lives. The story flows smoothly, has twist you don’t expect and will leave you both sad and happy at the end. I will look forward to listening to another audiobook in this series.

2 people found this helpful

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great story

I just finished listening to this book. Great story. At first I wasn't sure about the narrator but once I got engrossed in the story it didn't matter. I will definitely have to listen to others in this series I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for my honest review.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Just Keep Pulling Back the Onion Layers

I was going to listen to another book and accidentally hit Stolen. Seven and a half hours later and I have just finished and WOW! What a book! What a story! What a cast of characters! It was fabulous and had me sucked in so quickly.

The story has so many layers to it, and every time you think you have all the layers you peel back one more. The characters are all interwoven too. I was worried I would have a hard time keeping all the stories and people straight, but I really did not. It is a sad story, but very realistic. Initially I thought it was a true crime book and not a work of fiction because of how well written the story is. What takes places is just strange enough that it feels real.

I was very pleased with Amy Deuchler's voices. Her female voices are stronger compared to her male voices. However, each voice is distinct to the character, and I had an easy time knowing who was talking.

Whether you like fiction or true crime, this book is a must listen. I have already recommended it to friends and family.

I received a copy of this audiobook at my request, and I have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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VERY EMOTIONAL!

I absolutely loved it! This is the first book I've read in this series. I went through so many emotions with this story, I don't think my heart can recover fully . The narration was great and kept me entertained. This author does a great job with her characters and plot. This was my first book by this author but definitely not my last. I look forward to reading more of her books. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Heartbreaking subject, mindblowing book

This story is part of a series but is a great stand alone book. As Marty and Hope deal with his fathers illness Marty and Jean are drawn into the murders the dark world of child abuse and kidnapping.
This book is written in chapters that are from each characters point of view so its important to listen for the name at the beginning of the chapter until you nave gotten in the swing of the narrators voice for each character. (It takes a bit to be comfortable with the voices of some of the male characters, but before long its a smooth process.)
I would recommend that this is a story you concentrate on (vs listening while you are engaged in other activities. ) all in all a solid story with a solid narration. Defiantly excited for the next story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Better book than the 2nd in the series

This is the 3rd chapter in a series about Detectives Jean Whitley and Marty Keal. We jump right into the action, with a bit of necessary catch up from the previous books. Small child found racing through the woods by hunters running from a cabin with 2 gunshot victims. And a 2nd missing child found at the scene. The surviving man is the key to the mystery. Who are the kids and the man?

I must say, I feel like Dawn heard my reviews (before I made them) of the previous 2 books in the series and took heed of some of my criticisms. We revisit Brad from the first story (yay) and Jean's daughter Bethany and her friend Dylon from the 2nd book-nice, believable tie-in I might add. We finally address Jean's overly emotional behavior too. Cell phones finally seem relevant to the time historically and are used appropriately. Marty and Hope still have an annoyingly insecure relationship dynamic which I hope finally evolves in the next book.

I felt the writing had matured a bit in this book although there was still a bit too many unnecessary euphemisms and metaphors. Example....instead of saying the guy is armed and dangerous, there are a few long winded sentences about how the man is carrying a piece of steel that is considered a very dangerous weapon. Nobody's splitting hairs about one or two of these but it happens a lot. Some things just don't need THAT much descriptive fluff.

The narrator is now a familiar voice as having been the same to narrate the 2nd book. Again, she does a better job to me, than the 1st book's narrator. A little weak on the male voices but overall, she picks up accents well and brings the story to life.

The story itself was very interesting and felt fresh. It didn't feel like a played-out theme from other stories in this genre. You were left with a "no way!" once some of the mystery was solved. The author does a great job playing at the heartstrings with these little children as integral characters in the story. I was moved to literal tears at the end. I have a toddler and I can't even imagine this tale being my own. I'm glad the author didn't censor the circumstances to be sensitive to the audience. A true crime mystery needs the grit and shock value of what is reality in the criminal world. It was fast paced and before you knew it you were at the end and the mystery was solved.

On to the next!

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for TG
  • TG
  • 04-19-19

Enjoyable listen

The main characters were likeable and the story was easy to follow and also engaging. Th plot line was enjoyable without being convoluted and was easy to follow. I enjoyed this listen and look forward to more from the same author/ narrator

2 people found this helpful

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  • Emma-Claire Leonard
  • 11-04-19

Another fantastic story in this series

Having read all three of the books in this series, I feel like I have really got to know the characters and they have all been written so well, with great character development. There was not a moment of this book where I wanted to put it down, I was so eager to find out what was going to happen next.
This is a beautifully written story about stolen children and their lives afterwards. There is mention of child abuse throughout, but for me, there was enough emphasis to explain without too many details.
I can’t wait to read the next one and see what happens next for Jean and Marty in their respective lives.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michelle Nieuwoudt
  • 10-21-19

Wow. Left me crying.

Such a gripping mystery from start to finish and the “switch” of the main character was refreshing and a good slant. Well written so that you just cannot put it down. Such a scary and very real topic. Great ending!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • mani
  • 07-06-19

STOLEN

This is a thriller read that will have you on the edge of your seats from beginning to end. The storyline is heartbreaking,A stolen child. a parents worse nightmare.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 02-17-18

A 'must listen'!

I absolutely LOVE this series. So much so that having already read book 3, I have 'double downed' and listened to it as well. I feel a bit stymied because I gave book 2 a 5 star review and, if possible, this one is even better! The story is heart breaking, and worryingly happening in real life. In fact the numbers involved are mind boggling and it's so necessary that authors tackle these difficult subjects in their writing. The mystery is very cleverly written, but what I especially like is the back story behind the main players. In so many books today the people involved seem completely alone in the world; they seem to have no family, no friends, no one who cares about them. Not so in this series; we get to meet all the Keals and the Whitley family, Hope and her mother. It's heart warming and provides a very welcome foil for the sadness and horror that the mystery brings with it. This is a fabulous read and I loved every single minute of it. 5 stars and a 'must read' recommendation from me.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bethany Gordon
  • 11-16-19

Thrilling read

The third in the Whitley and Keal series, which keeps getting better and better. The story centres around what happened in a cabin in the woods and the identities of the two children found in the aftermath of a shooting. The mystery of these children and those involved in the events gives an absorbing thriller. As well as the mystery you also get to know the cops and their families. An interesting listen, with good narration, if only I could give it 4.5 stars!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • anne
  • 10-15-19

A good follow on to book two.

An enjoyable continuation of the story of the police partnership, ofJean and Marty. The pair are getting to know each other better and we’re getting more insight to them and their families. The story was a little bit predictable but nicely tied up at the end, leaving us ready for book number four. Sadly though, the narrator, Amy Deuchler only received three stars from. She has a delightful voice and I’m so sorry to do this to her, but,her male voices need serious work to bring her up to the standard of a top notch narrator, which in my opinion she could be.

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  • Helen
  • 08-31-19

amazing storyline

Another homicide has rocked the small town of Fallsburg, New York. In a cabin nestled deep in the woods,
amazing story could not stop listening

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Norma Miles
  • 06-20-19

And then he would smile, just smile.

Marty was supposed to be on leave - he and Hope were soon to be married - but was recalled when police were directed to a woodland cabin. Inside was found the body of an older man, shot dead, and a younger man, unconscious and barely clinging onto life. There was also a filthy, near naked girl child of five, later recognised as one abducted from her home some weeks before. No murder weapon was found. But it had been the noise which had attracted attention to the scene: gunshots, then the non stop screaming : a boy of about nine was running through the woods, screaming, screaming. Who were these people and what had happened here?
Whilst Marty and his partner, Jean, work the case, psychologist Hope tried to deal with the children's trauma and untangle their very different situations: the little girl had obviously been neglected and abused whilst the boy had been carefully cared for but could not speak beyond a single word which sounded like 'filthy'. As the case evolved, it became an increasingly emotional one for Marty.

The third in this Whitley and Keal series, Stolen stands alone as an excellent murder mystery but is even better if the reader has already met the three main protagonists, the police duo, Marty and Jean, and clinical psychiatrist and Marty's finance, Hope. Again told from various protagonist perspectives, tensions, and emotions, build as the story slowly unwind to the astonishment of all. Although incredible, there is a distinct feeling of reality about the people and events as the play out. The narration by Amy Deuchler further enhances the reading enjoyment: her pleasant on the ear tones are well modulated and pace perfect, the reading well intoned and each individual character is given their own distinctive voice. A fine performance.

A very enjoyable and thought provoking book. My thanks to the rights holder of Stolen, who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. It is an unusual mystery thriller, not fast moving but always tension filled, and with a most unusual plot line which is emotionally charged both for the reader and the book's protagonists. Well written and definitely recommended whether as a starter story or as the book three continuation of a series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KarenThornton
  • 06-13-19

This series just keeps getting better

I have fallen in love with the characters in this series. Each new books gets better than the last. The stories are really interesting. It always keeps you wandering. This was no exception. Thrilling without being gory or unnecessarily graphic but still hard hitting. Absolutely loving this series now.