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What She Found–cold case with coverups
What She Found
by Robert Dugoni
Tracy Crosswhite, with three awards for valor, has moved from working with a team in the Violent Crimes Section to being the only detective in the Cold Case Unit in Seattle. The perks are a private office and more regular hours so she can spend more time with her husband and baby girl. She has just completed a successful investigation into a serial killer bringing closure for a lot of families and good press to the Seattle Police Department at a time when some groups are calling for defunding the force.
Twenty-five years earlier Lisa Childress, an investigative reporter for a Seattle newspaper, had a 2:00 A.M. meeting with an informer in a warehouse district. She also had a husband and young daughter, but she never returned to them. The daughter appeals to Crosswhite for help.
Author Robert Dugoni has created a plot that will set your head spinning with its complications. Themes include police and community politics, ethics, family relationships, the role of the press, drugs, amnesia, and statutes of limitations. Crimes range from blackmail to murder. Crosswhite finds it difficult to get people to talk about old crimes whether from aging memories or shame. Many of the witnesses are dead. Crosswhite, for personal and professional reasons, will not be deterred in her efforts to bring the truth to light. Honor, justice, and truth are important virtues in the way she lives her life. By the conclusion, everyone has a renewed sense of the importance of family. Crosswhite is a skilled investigator—intelligent and clever in her ability to uncover secrets, follow up on clues, and connect disparate threads.
What She Found is suspenseful without indulging in graphic violence or stepping over the line into the psychological thriller category. This mystery has more action than an Agatha Christie novel; but, as found in a Christie mystery, it requires a protagonist up to the mental challenge. This is not a “happily ever after” book, but the reader will find satisfaction in the conclusion.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Category: General Fiction, Mystery
Notes: 1. #9 in the Tracy Crosswhite Series. I read 2 books in Dugoni’s Charles Jenkins Series and liked them enough to try a book relatively late in this series. To my surprise, It worked quite well as a standalone. Although he does characters well, Dugoni’s books are more about the plot than the characters.
2. Another puzzlement for me is that I finished the book and noted that there had been “some mild swearing.” Normally that would mean about 4 or 5 instances. In doing a search, however, I found there were many more examples of inappropriate language (about 30) than had registered with me. So, am I becoming used to that in my reading, was it appropriate to the characters, or was the story so well told that I kept reading without noticing them? I truly don’t know.
Publication: August 23, 2022—Thomas & Mercer
Tracy knew regret was much harder to live with than failure. Regret caused you to second-guess what you hadn’t done.
Honoring her word was more important than pleasing her chief, though it certainly would not be without consequences. It might not be the smartest decision Tracy ever made, but it was the honorable one.
“What I’ve learned is that life isn’t about memories. It isn’t about the past. It’s about living in the present and looking to the future, and what that future holds for each of us.”
Mulberry Hollow–obstacles to love
by Denise Hunter
Denise Hunter continues her Riverbend Romance Series with the Robinson family at the center of the stories. Mulberry Hollow focuses on Avery, the youngest child of three and the only daughter in the merged family. Avery is high achieving and operates her own medical clinic in the little town of Riverbend Gap that is an oasis of relief and comfort for weary hikers from the Appalachian Trail. Avery’s family handles her with kid gloves because she has a 50% chance of having a fatal, degenerative disease. She has resigned herself to a love life with the clinic and the community and rejects the possibility of having children.
One evening she finds Wes Garrett, dehydrated, with a high fever, on the clinic’s doorstep. He was formerly a worker in Columbia for Emergency Shelter International, but is currently a thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail in honor of a deceased friend. Wes’ background was tough growing up, and as an adult he is saddled with paying off his father’s debts. Wes is a man of his word and a man of honor. While the handsome guy’s qualities are admirable, they also cause obstacles in any romantic relationship that might develop.
I loved this story and its characters. These are people that fight hard to do the right things putting others above themselves. It’s hard not to keep turning the pages in hopes that good things will happen for Avery and Wes. There are a lot of twists in the plot that will have you groaning at the unfairness of life, but the characters continue to trust in God and pray for others. The religious element is not dominant; instead it reflects the way these characters live out their lives through good times and bad and when the right choices are not the easy ones.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Notes: 1. Discussion questions are included.
2. This is #2 in the Riverbend Romance Series, a trilogy. It could be read as a standalone, but the characters continue from the first book, Riverbend Gap, so you would probably enjoy it more if you read them in order.
3. Clean romance.
Publication: April 19, 2022—Thomas Nelson Fiction
“He was a hustler?” “He could’ve sold mosquitos to a backpacker—and he would’ve if he hadn’t been so lazy. Such as it was, he made do with home improvement scams.”
She took in the now-familiar angles and planes of his face. He was pretty to look at, no doubt, but he was even more attractive on the inside. A man who put aside his plans to help another was a man who could be counted on. A man who spent months on the trail to honor a friend was a man to be admired.
She considered all he’d been through. His difficult childhood, the loss of a dear friend. And yet he’d somehow flourished as a human being. Emerged from his trials a good and caring man. She was thankful God had brought him to Riverbend just when she’d needed him.