Girl Trap by Cynthia Hamilton

I received a copy of Girl Trap by Cynthia Hamilton from my daughter at Christmas. I had never read any of the books by this author before, but they had been highly recommended to me.

The Blurb

A seemingly simple missing persons case leads two PI’s into the criminal secrets of California’s rich and powerful in this West Coast mystery thriller.
When a pair of sisters step off the bus from Minnesota and promptly go missing, it seems like a simple case for private investigators Madeline Dawkins and Mike Delaney. But when the trail leads them to a strange heiress who has never touched her eight-figure fortune, Madeline and Mike give up hope for a quick and easy solution.
The case will take Mike deep into his troubled past, and Madeline into a cold case that could expose the dirty deeds that have made people wealthy beyond imagination, at a deadly cost for others to pay. Ruthless criminals will go to any length to protect what they have built, and it will take all of Madeline’s intelligence and grit to tear down the whole rotten mess without getting crushed.

The Review

Girl Trap is the third book in the Madeline Dawkins Series by Cynthia Hamilton, although it can be read as a stand-alone. It is a fast paced detective series with exciting storylines and interesting characters.

In Girl Trap, the main characters, Madeline and Mike, are working on different missing women cases so the reader gets two stories at the same time. Madeline is looking for Hannah, who has been missing for ten years because her mother is dying and wants to reconcile with her estranged daughter before she dies. Of course, what unfolds is a completely different story that has a very unexpected ending that I did not see coming.

Mike, however, is looking for his cousin Jesse’s missing girlfriend and her sister and this storyline leads you into the dark and murky world of woman trafficking and I could not put this book down.

Cynthia Hamilton knows how to write a well thought out thriller that gets the readers invested in the plot and the characters. I highly recommend Girl Trap. It is an exciting, engaging story.

The Author

I started my writing adventure in 2000, when a collection of bizarre symptoms forced me to find a creative outlet I could pursue from bed. Since then, I’ve written several novels and two memoirs. I love creating characters and setting them down in situations to see how they react. My latest effort—The Patience of Karma—is the fifth book in the Madeline Dawkins Mystery Series, a concept that came to me out of the blue one day, and has been a gift that keeps giving. I’m proud of the way Madeline has gone from being the victim to being the champion of others.

I didn’t start reading for pleasure until I was nineteen. But once I discovered the joy of stepping inside someone else’s imagination, I was forever hooked. Because of the magic I experienced when I read, I believed writing was something I would never be capable of doing. It was only when I forgot that I couldn’t write that I discovered that I actually could. I still read a lot – I always have multiple books going at once – and I’m still getting a thrill out of testing my characters’ strengths. Both pursuits help me to better understand my fellow human beings and the complexities of life.

I’m deep into the sixth installment of the Madeline Dawkins series, cooking up more trouble for the MDPI team. The series is now in the capable hands of Severn River Publishing, with an eye on at least 8 Madeline adventures and a new series set in New Orleans. And I’m thrilled to announce an audio version of Madeline’s debut novel “Spouse Trap” will be released in Sept. 2020.

When time permits, I share behind the scenes looks at books written by me or some of my author friends on my Goodreads blog, “The Story Behind the Story.”

You can also find me at and Twitter (@AuthorCynthiaH) and Facebook:

Please feel free to contact me. I love to discuss reading and writing!

Val Penny


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