Thursday, 19 May 2016

In the Clearing

Author: Robert Dugoni
Genre: Suspense
Series: #3 in the Tracy Crosswhite series
Type: ebook
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
First Published: May 17, 2016
First Line: "Buzz Almond informed dispatch he was rolling, punched the accelerator, and smiled at the roar of the 245-horsepower V-8 engine, the g-forces nudging him back against his seat."

Book Description from GoodReads: Detective Tracy Crosswhite has a skill, and a soft spot, for tackling unsolved crimes. Having lost her own sister to murder at a young age, Tracy has dedicated her career to bringing justice and closure to the families and friends of victims of crime.

So when Jenny, a former police academy classmate and protégé, asks Tracy to help solve a cold case that involves the suspicious suicide of a Native American high school girl forty years earlier, Tracy agrees. Following up on evidence Jenny’s detective father collected when he was the investigating deputy, Tracy probes one small town’s memory and finds dark, well-concealed secrets hidden within the community’s fabric. Can Tracy uphold the promise she’s made to the dead girl’s family and deliver the truth of what happened to their daughter? Or will she become the next victim?

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

My ReviewIn this third installment of the Tracy Crosswhite series there are two cases.  The first case involves a domestic abuse/murder in Seattle.  This case is very secondary, and quite cut and dry with a minor and obvious twist.  Tracy isn't involved much in this case, which is quickly passed on to Tracy's partner Kins and their fellow detectives who, unfortunately, don't get much page time.

The bulk of the book deals with a forty year old cold case involving the apparent suicide of Kimi Kanasket, a Native American teenager in Klickitat County, Washington. When case notes written by the now deceased sheriff come to light forty years after Kimi's death, the sheriff's daughter, a former police academy classmate of Tracy's, asks for some help to determine if Kimi's death truly was a suicide. Tracy is motivated to help solve cold cases due to the loss of her sister so many years ago and her desire to help family members get closure for their loss.  This story line jumps back and forth from current day to 1976 as well as between Seattle and the small, tight-knit community in rural Washington state.  For this case there were some twists and turns, as well as some interesting suspects and townspeople but overall there just seemed to be something lacking compared to the first two books in the series.  

Tracy is still the detective with a nose for solving crimes and I really like her.  She's strong, has a good head on her shoulders but has some very real issues in her personal life, namely how the death of her sister still haunts her.  I think seeing how this ongoing loss affects her gives her a very relatable and human feel and not just the head strong detective out to get the bad guys. 

There were a couple of new secondary characters thrown into the mix (I loved the former newspaper publisher).  But I was surprised that Tracy's love interest, Dan as well as her fellow Seattle detectives - Kins, Fax and Del (and even her cantankerous boss Captain Nolasco) are barely in this book which is a shame because they bring both humour and nastiness (I'm looking at you Nolasco) to the books.

Overall this was a good read but definitely not my favourite in the series.  I highly recommend reading My Sister's Grave (which I adored) followed by the second book in the series, Her Final Breath (another great suspense read) to get a clear idea of where Tracy is coming from especially since her sister's death is brought up several times throughout this book.

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Thomas and Mercer and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary ebook copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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