TRACES OF GUILT
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 County 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 Thane and his family will be key to the answers she seeks.
I think in order to enjoy Dee Henderson's new storytelling style you have to let go of the O'Malleys. Yes cherish them and reread them and display those books on your keeper shelves, but opening a current Henderson novel and expecting an O'Malley type of story isn't doing the author or the reader any favours.
No matter what style she's writing in, Henderson is still the best at showing the slow but steady journey towards relationship. At the beginning of Traces of Guilt, Evie and Gabriel don't even know each other -- they have a bang up first meet that develops into a professional respect and then friendship over the course of the story. I like Evie and I like Gabriel and I'd like to see them romantically linked. That hasn't happened in this book but since this is labeled as An Evie Blackwell Cold Case, I'm hoping there's another book which will lead to the resolution I long for.
This isn't a nail-biting-edge-of-your-seat kind of read. Instead the author has chosen to highlight the methodical, painstaking process of police work. It's a fascinating look into the thought process of a detective. And when they talk shop it's full of realistic dialogue which isn't always riveting and is sometimes repetitive.
In a broader sense, this is a Thane family story. We're introduced to brothers, Josh, Will and Gabe. Given enough meat to whet our appetite for further books. Each brother has a complicated relationship with a woman they are interested in and Ann Turner (a recurring character from previous books) seems to know the secrets of all these women. She's as cryptic as ever -- warning without explaining, throwing out hints until your mind runs in a thousand gruesome directions but rarely coming out with something substantial when you think she should. But that's Ann -- keeper of secrets. And she does reveal all eventually.
Not your typical suspense since it highlights methodology rather than action. I can usually read a book in a day -- especially when it's an edge-of-your-seater -- but it took me three days to finish Traces of Guilt. Not because I wasn't intrigued...but I didn't feel the kind of sense of urgency that would keep me up at night turning pages. A good, steady, enjoyable read with promise of more to come.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Traces of Guilt please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday August 28 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!