*Will attempt to keep spoiler free
Lieutenant Evie Blackwell, a state cop, investigates a cold case as part of her working vacation. Her friend Ann Falcon is angling to get her an invite to a task force specifically meant to look into such cases.
- I’m guessing Ann Falcon’s a main character in a different series. I’m a little out of the loop when it comes to Dee Henderson books.
- Evie’s a cool character. The Thane family’s sweet, like deep South sweet tea sweet. But it’s cool.
- Plot’s kind of ambitious as each of the Thane brothers (Josh, Will, and Gabriel) has a lady of interest and the subplot surrounding her. Gabriel’s the sheriff. Of Josh and Will, I’m not sure which was the combat medic (I think it’s Will) and which was the farmer (Josh?), but anyway, one’s trying to woo a chef named Karen with a scary past. The other is trying to help his childhood friend heal from her traumas. Meanwhile, Evie’s helping Gabriel with a cold case about a deputy who went missing with his family 12 years ago.
- The Karen plotline kinda got dropped, but that’s not surprising with so much going on. I get the feeling it’s supposed to be a thread that will carry through several books and eventually wrap up, sort of a whole series subplot.
- I really like Ann but the first portion of the book where she has a few infuriating conversations with Gabriel almost made me quit. Pretty sure she stays cryptic for about 10 minutes straight and the entire conversation boils down to: will ask for a big favor from your brother, encourage him to do it.
- It’s not a typical mystery, closer to a cozy mystery. It’s not even really about the mystery, that’s a subplot. The book centers on the large cast of characters and their personal lives. It’s compelling as a character piece, but not necessarily as a plot piece.
- Having it be about cold cases removes some of the immediacy and danger, which threatens the suspense. It’s still a good book, but it’s just not as fast-paced as I’ve come to expect from mysteries.
- Audio performance was okay. Heard better. Heard worse. The men sounded mostly the same to me, but I was listening to it on a faster clip than normal speech, which might have contributed to that. Ann’s dialogue tended to end on a higher pitch. It helped distinguish, but the tendency to have sentences end high got distracting.
If I’m comparing to other Dee Henderson books, I’d say it fits in somewhere in the middle. It’s not her best work. It’s not her worst work. She’s always had a knack for creating awesome characters. This story demonstrates that skill. Where it fell short for me was the level of satisfaction with the mystery’s conclusion.
Associate links to follow…
Note: I’m starting to use a few ad sites for audiobooks, so codes are disappearing quickly.
Available Audiobooks: I have free codes for almost everything. That will change very soon.
New Release: The Shadow Council Series 1: Money Makes it Deadlier – An FBI agent gets caught up in a robbery gone wrong.
Shadow Council Book 3: Christmas Makes it Chaos – The FBI agent gets a strange ally in the quest to prevent chaos from rocking a lot of people’s holiday season.
Shadow Council Book 4: Treachery Makes it Tense – The agent and the assassin have to team up if they want to survive.
Shadow Council is also available as a ~13 hr bundle.
The Collins Case – 2 FBI agents track down a kidnapped family. Kid friendly.
If fantasy’s more your thing, go Redeemer Chronicles. The first, Awakening, is available as an audiobook.
Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – a kid deals with her parents’ divorce, bullies, and the wonder of discovery.
Try The Dark Side of Science – Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live.
Beyond Broken Pencils – Contemporary literary tale of a school shooting. Ian unleashes his inner demons on his classmates and teachers…
Scratched Off – FBI agent vs a serial killer. When Sam Kerman sets out to hunt a serial killer, he has no idea how personal the case will become.