The Fragile Ones

An absolutely gripping mystery and suspense novel (Detective Katie Scott Book 5)

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
300 Pages
Reviewed on 04/05/2021
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Author Biography

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and USA Today BestSelling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master's degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers' Favorite

The Fragile Ones by Jennifer Chase is truly a gripping mystery and suspense novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page. Detective Katie Scott is back and has a temporary job of showing a film crew around the local mountain historical sites so they can film a documentary there. As she walks around the area, she spots the bodies of two young girls deep in a ravine. She convinces her uncle, Sheriff Scott, to give the case to her and her partner McGaven. The two put their lives into doing what they do best; finding the person who tragically murdered these two little girls and why.

Chase creates a cast of characters that are believable, realistic, and play their parts perfectly as they develop throughout the story. The plot did a fantastic job of keeping me turning the pages as well as biting my nails through the whole book because of the vivid details of each scene. Parts of this story are also very difficult to read because of the small girls involved. The leads take Katie and McGaven to Rock Creek, which is a quaint little town, but Katie knows something isn't right there. As always, I enjoyed following their wild chase as well as  their professionalism in tracking down lead after lead until they were totally exhausted. I felt so bad for the two, wishing I could somehow help. I couldn't figure out the culprit in this one though I did try, but Jennifer Chase does an awesome job of keeping you guessing. Weaving in her knowledge of criminology and criminal justice, as well as extensive research, Chase writes an exceptionally amazing read in The Fragile Ones. If you enjoy a good clean suspense thriller, with a lot of mystery throughout, you definitely need to check this one out. You will love it as much as I did!

K.C. Finn

The Fragile Ones is a work of fiction in the murder mystery genre and is the fifth book in the Detective Katie Scott series. It is suitable for all ages and was penned by Jennifer Chase. As a content warning, this book contains a discussion of (but no depiction of) violence toward children. The book follows Katie Scott as she is investigating one of the most upsetting crimes of her career: the murder of two young sisters. But when one of the girls is a match for a kidnap victim from years earlier, a thread starts to develop that points the way to a much bigger and more dangerous mystery than previously thought.

Author Jennifer Chase has delivered an action-packed and thrilling murder mystery that follows Detective Katie Scott and partner Gavin as they investigate the deaths of young sisters Tessa and Megan. The novel grabs your attention with a gripping plot from the first page and makes it hard to put the book down. One of the things that I enjoyed the most was how fully developed and well thought out the plot was. The story was engaging, interesting, and easy to keep up with and the characters felt fully realized and easy to connect with. Throughout the book, clues are dropped in at well-placed intervals and, when we get the resolution, everything that is told to us makes sense with the clues that were given. The Fragile Ones is filled with clever dialogue and scene description that builds tension and suspense throughout. I’d not hesitate to recommend this book to fans of interesting and fast-paced crime novels, and those who are looking for a fresh take on the murder mystery genre.

Saifunnissa Hassam

Jennifer Chase's novel The Fragile Ones is a murder mystery set in California. Katie Scott is a cold case police detective in the Pine Valley Sheriff's Department. A cold case opens up when Katie finds the fragile broken bodies of two young girls in the Hidden Trail area. The girls, sisters and best friends, 12-year-old Megan and 11-year-old Tessa Mayfield, disappeared two years ago from their hometown of Rock Creek. They were killed brutally and violently before being thrown into a ravine. As Katie and her partner, Deputy Sean McGaven, investigate the homicide, more shocking information surfaces: Tessa's DNA reveals she was not Megan's sister but was abducted as a baby from Texas. Even more horrifying, Tessa's scalp shows a number literally branded into the skin. Katie and McGaven search for clues in Rock Creek. The case grows murkier and bigger as other similar unresolved homicides emerge. Katie is determined to find the serial killer before another young girl is murdered.

Gripping and chilling, Jennifer Chase's murder mystery turned into a compelling read for me. I particularly liked Katie Scott's character development. She struggles with PTSD and panic attacks stemming from her two tours of military duty in Afghanistan as a K9 explosives handler. As she investigates the horrific murders of the young girls, Katie finds herself in extremely stressful situations that trigger panic attacks. She draws on her PTSD therapy to find her inner courage and strength to deal with terrifying moments. She risks her own life to stop the killer. I liked the interweaving of Katie's personal and professional life into the story, her compassion, and her ability to work well with others. I liked Katie's K9 German shepherd Cisco as a team member. The twists and turns intensify as Katie and McGaven pursue possible suspects. The homicides and the devious, dangerous nature of the elusive killer stand out vividly in the descriptions of locations and raging storms. The Fragile Ones is a well-crafted, riveting and gritty murder mystery.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

In The Fragile Ones, the fifth book in Jennifer Chase’s Detective Katie Scott series, Katie continues her pursuit of closing cold cases. While showing a crew of filmmakers around the mountains near Pine Valley, Katie stumbles upon the corpses of two young girls thrown carelessly into a ravine. They identify the girls as Megan and Tessa Mayfield of Rock Creek, who never returned home from playing on a fateful afternoon two years ago. Everything about the case proves confusing, starting from a number branded onto Tessa’s scalp to their mother's apparent suicide the next day. Why does Tessa’s DNA match with a girl abducted ten years ago? Why can’t anyone track down the elusive Mr. Mayfield? Why is the Rock Creek police force so reluctant to assist Katie in her investigation?

Although it is the fifth installment of a series, The Fragile Ones can be read and enjoyed as a standalone book. Jennifer Chase provides enough backstory for readers to understand Katie’s character and background. Unlike many other police procedurals, this one focuses on the detectives as much as the mystery itself. Katie’s PTSD, stemming from her days in Afghanistan, takes a toll on her as she submerges herself in the horrific murder of two innocent girls. As she gradually unravels the mystery, a vicious mind comes to the forefront, chilling readers. With unwavering support from her trusted friends and Cisco, the German shepherd who is her constant companion, Katie finally manages to overcome her turmoil. I would recommend this book to any reader who appreciates crime stories.

Pikasho Deka

The Fragile Ones is a murder-mystery crime novel written by Jennifer Chase. The book follows Detective Katie Scott as she stumbles upon a murder investigation involving the deaths of two young girls. Upon the arrival of a documentary crew in Pine Valley, Detective Katie Scott is called upon to provide an escort to the group as they familiarize themselves with the surrounding area. But the seemingly uneventful enterprise turns into something sinister when Katie and the crew discover the dead bodies of the girls stuck inside a crevice. After tracing the girls to the small town of Rock Creek, Katie and her partner Deputy McGaven arrive at the town to find the local law enforcement utterly unhelpful. Katie must now take it upon herself to catch the killer before another young girl gets hurt.

The Fragile Ones is a thrilling murder-mystery that defies your expectations with a seamless blend of investigative work, unexpected twists, and an unpredictable and highly entertaining plot. Author Jennifer Chase keeps a steady pace to her narrative and twists the whodunit on its head as you get information in drips and can't help but second guess everything you thought you knew. I found Katie to be a sympathetic and likable protagonist and had similar feelings towards the other side characters such as Deputy Sean McGaven, Sheriff Scott, Chad, and Denise. Jeniffer Chase's portrayal of Katie's PTSD feels authentic and makes her seem vulnerable. It adds considerable depth to the character. Overall, I enjoyed The Fragile Ones a lot and would recommend it to readers who enjoy murder mysteries.