Faith Lost

Shepherd & Associates Series Book 2

Fiction - Crime
372 Pages
Reviewed on 11/09/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite

Faith Lost is the second Shepherd & Associates novel by Judith Erwin. Scarlett Kavanagh discovered she worked well with Jake Shepherd while he investigated her brother-in-law's death. Leaving her successful law business behind, Scarlett works her first official case with Jake, a child abduction. Someone picked little Faith Johnson up from school, but her mother, Jessica, claims it wasn't her. With a missing child and a mother reluctant to give out information, Scarlett and Jake have their work cut out for them. Jake Shepherd is Faith's best chance to be found alive. His skills and connections with the FBI serve him well, but they are only a few steps behind him. With the FBI focusing on the mother, the real kidnapper leaves a bloody trail for Jake and Scarlett to follow. Does little Faith outlive her usefulness? What secret is so dark that a mother's hesitation could keep her child in harm's way?

Judith Erwin is a mesmerizing author that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Faith Lost is a crime novel that will touch you to the core. Superbly written, this captivating tale blends crime, suspense, and a touch of romance. Jake and Scarlet race from one clue to the next, knowing that Faith's survival diminishes with each passing hour. Jake's experience shines through even the roughest scenarios such as when Scarlett steps up and puts her life on the line for just a thread of proof the child is alive and safe. The characters are well-rounded and realistic. The story played out in my head like I was living it with the characters. I highly recommend this novel to those who enjoy good crime fiction.

Susan Sewell

When a small girl vanishes from school, a private investigator and his assistant search the eastern seaboard to find her in the exciting suspense novel Faith Lost: Shepherd & Associates Series Book 2 by Judith Erwin. After working with Scarlett on her brother-in-law's murder, former FBI agent Jake Shepherd hires attorney Scarlett Kavanagh to join his investigation firm. While packing to move from Atlanta to D.C., Jake calls her into the office a week early to take on their new case. Five-year-old Faith Johnson is missing. She wasn't at school when her mother went to pick her up. Jessica is now in a psychiatric facility for a mental evaluation and is the prime suspect in Faith's disappearance. Still in shock and refusing to talk, Jessica's background and family are a mystery. Can Jake and his team find any clues that will lead them to Faith before it is too late?

Faith Lost is by Judith Erwin is a breathtaking and unforgettable suspense novel. The convincing characters, a compelling plot, and an engaging storyline create a riveting tale based on every mother's nightmare. The heartrending story held me breathlessly on the edge of my seat until I reached the final page. Even though Jessica isn't the main character, her fear, despair, and anguish are understandable and relatable, making it easy to get caught up in the drama of the story world. Skillfully written, the suspense and apprehension continue building until it culminates in an explosive and shocking conclusion. Dramatic and exciting, Faith Lost is the second book in a sensational series and promises to thrill and chill everyone who is a fan of suspense and crime novels.

Cloie Belle Daffon

Judith Erwin’s Faith Lost: Shepherd & Associates Series, Book 2 starts with former attorney Scarlett Kavanagh moving to Virginia to pursue a new career path. She becomes a detective and is partnered up with Jake Shepherd who has taken on a new case: a missing child. Despite being presented with several pieces of evidence and everyone else being certain that the mother of the child was behind the crime, Scarlett and Jake think otherwise. With Scarlett’s empathetic personality and sharp intuition, and Jake’s blunt mouth and clever mind, the dynamic duo sets off to solve this grueling mystery.

Faith Lost by Judith Erwin is an engaging and moderately-paced story. This is an adventurous novel that I feel will be sought after by people who are fond of crime and mysteries. In this gripping tale, Scarlett shows off her exceptional capabilities while she solves crime with her new partner Jake. Despite only starting and being trained as Jake’s new associate, she shows that she is as competent as he is. From the start, Scarlett is clear on drawing a line between them. She is determined that things stay professional between her and her blunt partner, Jake, but the line between a working relationship and something more blur when they start staying in the same house. I had fun reading the interactions between the two; the unmistakable tension makes the story more interesting.

Jake Shepherd is another admirable character in this tale. I appreciate his bluntness and the patience he shows regardless of the struggles they faced during their investigation. Aside from the characters of the story, I was hooked on the plot too. The story had my attention from beginning to end and I kept getting excited with every new revelation or clue that unfolded as the duo continued with their inquiries. This book is truly remarkable and I look forward to reading more of Judith Erwin’s work!

Heather Stockard

Scarlett Kavanaugh leaves behind her life as a top-notch family lawyer to work for ex-FBI-agent-turned-private-detective Jake Shepherd. Before she’s even completely packed, he summons her to DC to help him with an urgent case. A five-year-old girl named Faith has gone missing. She was apparently checked out early from school by her mother, Jessica, who swears it was an imposter. The trouble is that security cameras don’t lie, and they show Jessica leaving with her daughter who is nowhere to be found. Jake and Scarlett believe Jessica is telling the truth but when Jessica vanishes suddenly after making bail, they must delve deeper still to get answers. It’s a race against time that they seem to be losing. Every second counts when a child is missing and Faith has been gone too long already. Jake and Scarlett must put everything on the line to solve the case and find her before it’s too late.

Faith Lost, the second book in Judith Erwin’s Shepherd & Associates Series, is an exciting crime thriller filled with intrigue and drama and a hint of a romance as the investigation dredges up secrets and lies and a sinister suspect pool. Faith Lost is well-written with a clever plot and realistic characters. Erwin’s twenty-two years’ experience as a lawyer shine in the realism of the legal details and portrayal of the investigation. If you are a mystery buff looking for your next great page-turner, give this one a read. You won’t be able to put it down.

Vincent Dublado

Faith Lost: Shepherd & Associates Series, Book 2 by Judith Erwin is worth the wait. Jake Shepherd is back and this time he is not alone. His new partner, Scarlett Kavanagh, joins him in investigating the disappearance of a little girl named Faith. Upon interrogation, Jessica, Faith’s mother, sheds tears when asked if there was any way she could have harmed Faith. Her tears multiply as more questions crop up. She is not crazy, and she believes that someone has her daughter. But Jessica is proving to be uncooperative. A prime suspect appears by the name of Xenia Crystal Arnold and they will need everything that they can dig up on her. They need to piece the puzzle together before it’s too late for little Faith. The mentor and mentee relationship between Jake and Scarlett will be tested in their relentless pursuit.

You will be absorbed by Jake and Scarlett’s partnership. A no-nonsense investigator and a spunky attorney with a relationship that blurs the line between the professional and the romantic can conjure up many juicy conflicts. Police procedural becomes a necessary element to heighten tension. As Jake and Scarlett plow through the maze of those responsible for Faith’s abduction, it is not only the risk that escalates but also the tension between Jake and Scarlett. Judith Erwin puts realistic qualities into her crime story, which makes it quite engaging. She has created believable and sympathetic characters in both Shepherd and Kavanagh. They may not agree with each other all the time, but they create scenes with strong convictions. Faith Lost has a storyline and texture with the right depth to keep you following along in their search for Faith.