Thursday, 11 August 2016

Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson

Back Cover: Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police detective... mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job.

Gabriel Thane grew up in Carin Country and is now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he's sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have.

When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it's to help launch a new task force focused on unsolved crimes across the state. She will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she studies old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths surprising connections. one way or another, she knows Gabriel and his family will be key to the answers she seeks.

Review: Dee Henderson has written some very famous series such as The O'Malley series that starred a group of self- adopted siblings and the riveting, Uncommon Heroes. Since reading those books back in the early 2000s I have been hooked on Dee Henderson's writing. What makes her stories so unique is her exquisite attention to detail. If needed, she'll take half the book letting the reader get to know a small angle of her complicated, intricate characters. The plot, which is always interesting, seems to play second fiddle to knowing her characters. As much as I like a fast paced book, I don't regret the time spent learning who Dee Henderson's latest creations are. Her characters are always complicated and not the simple get-to-know-in-a-paragraph types. I also really appreciate how naturally relationships develop between her characters. It is never a given that two people will get together - sometimes I wonder if even she knows what the end result will be!

Her latest series, "An Evie Blackwell Cold Case" stars a very intense, Type A personality, obsessive detective who has been hand picked to pilot a new project to solve decades' old cases that local cops have long given up on. To give the project a head start, Evie takes her two weeks holiday from her Illinois department to work on two cases her friend Ann has suggested. In both cases, the victims seem to have vanished into thin air without a trace. As Evie digs deep into the facts and pulls the cases to and fro, she begins to see some inconsistencies that may lead to some very dark answers.

Meanwhile, the Thane brothers are having their own set of problems. For one, an old flame with a staggering past returns to town, and her story brings the entire Thane family to a halt. For another, the arrival of a certain Evie Blackwell does more than just disrupt his sheriff duties - it does things to his heart he's not sure he wants. For the youngest, a new truth about his girlfriend has his family praying  he wont re-write the future the way he's been trained too - with his gun. A strong, Christian family, the Thane's pull together through a season rife with difficulty. Their love for each other and strength of character really grounds this story and gives our obsessive detective, Evie, a safe place to land.

I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next Evie Blackwell cold case.

This book was provided free of charge from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, and Graf Martin Communications Inc. Thank-you for the book!

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