"Everything you want in a murder mystery ...suspense, humor and a twist at the end that you don't see coming."
A gruesome puzzle. A twisted killer. A determined detective. Who will win the game?
Frank, fierce and fearless, Detective Sydney Valentine has never been afraid to ask difficult questions. But when a social worker is found brutally murdered with three Scrabble tiles stuffed in her mouth, she knows the answers will be far from easy to find.
Sydney’s investigation leads her to a disturbing blast from her past: a date-rape predator who attacked her friend Allison at college. Could he be the killer? He got away once before. Maybe now she’ll be able to bring him to justice.
Then more shocking murders reveal more cryptic clues and the puzzle gets harder to untangle. And when the killer turns their attention to those closest to Sydney, solving the mystery is the only way to protect the people she loves.
The murderer is playing a deadly game and Sydney can’t afford to lose. Does she have what it takes to catch this sadistic serial killer? Or will the killer catch her first?
If you’re a fan of police procedural novels with twists and turns that keep you guessing until the very end, you’ll love the Sydney Valentine Mysteries.
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7 hrs and 47 minutes
"A real gutsy detective. I couldn't stop reading this book once I started. It is well written, with good twists. Great work! Thank you!"
What Readers Are Saying
“I didn't know I needed this until I picked it up by chance. What we have here is - dare I say it? - the best murder mystery novel I've ever read.
Our protagonist - Sydney Valentine - is a young-ish female detective who is not only kick-ass and great at her job, but a really beautifully rounded character, and incredibly relatable. It's not often that a writer will divulge so much family background and non-job-related life and make it work so smoothly with the book as a whole. This writer is breaking stereotypes (except the doughnut-eating-police-officer thing) with every sentence, and I love her for it.
The book is pacy and the case original, but it was the balance between sensitivity and action that really blew me away. Ms Davis writes fantastic relationships; I don't think I've ever been so emotionally invested in crime fiction before! Every character was so human, and every death was treated like a real tragedy rather than a 'complication to the case'.
The plot is a whirlpool of completely unforeseen (or at least, unforeseen by me) twists and turns, and I was completely enraptured by the entire story. I'm still reeling from that ending!
Davis' writing is snappy and gritty; she doesn't shy away from difficult topics, but she never slips into the trap of being overly gruesome. As for the dialogue, there were a few instances where I felt the utterances were too clipped to feel natural, but as a whole it slipped well into the story and read smoothly.
My only question (and please bear in mind this is coming from a young British country-bumpkin) was whether it was true to life to have a network of so many broken and difficult people.
Either way, the layers of humour, profundity and accuracy made this book a brilliant read that I highly recommend. It's an experience I'm so glad I got to enjoy."
“Really fantastic! Kept me guessing, trying to figure out who the killer was. I thought I had it figured out but at the end the author threw me a monkey wrench!!!"
“Strong characters, tight plot keeps you guessing until the end. Knowing WHO dunit is a surprise you don't expect or see coming.”
"Sydney is very refreshing and a strong woman who cares about her family and her squad partners. Humor surrounds Sydney's dating life after her sister establishes an online dating profile for her. Female detectives like Sydney are great role models for girls today."
"I am on my third book by this author and love every one of them and can't put them down. I just bought another Sydney Valentine book that is only 15 pages which I normally don't mess with but I love these books. Hate the thought of finishing the third one already. Hope she writes many many more of these. A very talented author."
"I've read a lot of whodunits, but this mystery had me guessing throughout the entire book. I read til 4 a.m. because I couldn't put it down; I just had to know who the murderer was. I didn't figure it out til the very last pages and that's what makes a great story. This is the first time I've read this author and I must say, "Hats off to you, Ms. Davis. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!"
"Gimme a little ASS-KICKING music. Author is a great wordsmith. I like a real BADA$$ protagonist and she gives us one."
“I couldn't put it down! The characters were easy to relate to and the story is possible. I would recommend this to everyone.”
“The Protector is a book about a serial killer who is not only killing people but also attacking law enforcement. Sydney Valentine, the cop on the case, is also trying to protect her family from the killer as well. This story has everything you want in a murder mystery...suspense, humor and a twist at the end that you don't see coming. This book is an easy to read page-turner that won't disappoint. Professionally written. Highly recommended.”
“Okay...if you love eve dallas, of the JD Robb series, then you will f$!/=ING love this book!!!! Let me tell you she is like Eve Dallas, on steroids... cannot be happier to have read this book!!!!”
“This is my first Danielle L. Davis book and she just gained a new fan! I became immersed in the story, constantly trying to figure out who the killer might be and what the scrabble letters, left at each scene, spelled out. The storyline was unique, held my attention so well that I found myself reading well into the wee hours of the morning. The characters were well developed, quirky & interesting. I really liked the sarcasm, side remarks and banter between Detective Valentine and Bernie. After finishing The Protector I can't wait to read more in this series!”
“OMG! Ms. Davis thank you for writing this amazing book! I read this book in two days. I love when I read a book and the author makes it difficult to figure out the ending. I was not expecting that ending!”
“WOW! Excellent story, just when you had everything figured out, the end of the story comes and you find out that you are wrong! Highly recommend this book for people who think that they can figure out how things end!”
“This is the beginning to a new series and I think it started off very well! Loved the main character, Sydney Valentine, as she is smart, funny and feisty. Love the banter between her and her partner.”
“I love the strength of the women characters and the humanity of the males.”
“Wow what a great mystery. Sydney Valentine is a great police detective. Many twists and turns. You can't figure it out until the last chapter when it is spelled out for you.”
“Sydney Valentine is the kind of kick-butt female police detective that I love and the complex story kept veteran mystery reader that I am turning pages. I was sorry to see it end.”
“This is an excellent reading book. All of the characters were very well written and very real. The hero will be one of my favorites going forward.”
“Great book, characters and storyline. I read it in one evening.”
“Didn’t see this one coming. Usually I can figure out a good mystery. This book was great. Did not get all of it until almost the very end.”
“Awesome and exciting read”
“hard to put down”
“Enjoyed the book. Good characterization and plot development.”
“I found Danielle's book a page turner from the very beginning. Excellent detail to police and detective investigation. I found Sydney and Bernie's relationship delightful, even though they butted heads, I knew when things got tough they'd be there for each other. Many unforgettable characters. A spellbinding story with surprising twists and turns. Loved it!!!”
“This story had lots of twists and turns and kept me guessing until the end - and it was a great ending too! I loved the witty banter between the characters as well as the underlying message of the story.”
“Well written, with dialogue that flows and a twisty plot. It will keep you guessing. I actually read this book twice, because my first reading was so often interrupted & I thought I must have missed something. I usually can figure out who the killer is, and put the pieces together, but this one surprised me. I want to read the rest of this series.”
“I could not turn the pages fast enough. You read the back of the book and you get one idea of what is going to happen and then you get surprised. I liked this so much I just downloaded her second book in the series and I know that I am going to download the third. Do not miss out on a good book series. Enjoy.”
“Loved this book. It had a great plot, fabulous characters and it kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page till the end. I had a lot of fun reading this book. I didn't figure out who did it till the end. I love a mystery like that. You will not be disappointed if you pick this up.”
“Action packed from start to finish. Sydney Valentine charges through the city facing danger to herself and family to solve the murder of a child advocate. I enjoyed watching this story unfold, though I suspected who the villain was (and why), I was surprised by the complexity of the final outcome!”
“first time I've read this author and I was very pleasantly surprised at how well she writes.. Loved the book .. I will be reading more of her books.. Loved Sydney , the whole story.. and the ending was a surprise .. Very good.”
“I really enjoyed this book! It seemed more realistic when showing all the work officers have to do when solving a case, but the action was kept at a nice pace. I loved the sense of humor and camaraderie between Sydney and Bernie. Cannot wait to read the next one.”
“A compelling who dunnit. Someone is killing CPS officials and leaving behind scrabble letters.This book keeps you guessing all the way through. Full of twists and hidden clues.”
“I really enjoyed this story. Especially the ending! I don't want to ruin it for anyone, so I will just say it's very surprising, but yet believable. The main character is very human, with just enough quirks to be funny but real. Looking forward to the next entry.”
“I can honestly say I had no idea who the killer was until the final chapters. Wow! What a ride! I definitely will remember this author, and look for more of her books.”
“Great book great author. Awesome book looking forward to the rest of the series. A must have book full of adventure and action.”
“This book was awesome! This story kept me guessing until the end and I love a strong woman as a main character. A must read!”
“Five stars. Loved it. Won’t put down the next book”
“Wow! From beginning to end, this book was a page turner. Danielle Davis has managed to weave an incredible tapestry of mystery, intrigue, murder and mayhem. Just when you think you have the mystery solved, Ms. Davis throws a curveball at you that delights and satisfies.”
“Gutsy girl detective! I liked the character, Sydney Valentine. She is tenacious in digging out clues to solve the case she is working on. I enjoyed the lively banter between Sydney and Bernie, her partner.
Not usually a fan of mystery, this one was very entertaining and Danielle L Davis did a good job of leading the reader from one clue to the other. I recommend this book.”
“Entertaining crime/detective novel. I don't usually read mystery novels, however, I enjoyed reading this book. The attention to detail on policework was nice to follow, and the overall story was solid and kept me guessing. Thanks for a fun read!”
“AWESEOME. I couldn't stop reading this book once I started. It is well written, with good twists. Great work! Thank you!”
“A real gutsy detective. This was a real page turner. I loved the use of the scrabble letters being left at each crime scene.”
“Five stars. GREAT read”
“Good character development, lets you follow their lives personally and professionally, and interesting story line/plot that moves along at a pretty good clip. Nice twist at the end! If you are a true mystery fan, you will definitely like this book. No spoilers here, good start to a new series.”
“This book had me from page 1”
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