The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni
This was my first Tracy Crosswhite book, and while the murder case involving a woman’s body found in a crab trap by mistake might be linked to a woman who disappeared two months earlier was compelling, I wanted a closer POV from Tracy’s perspective. I felt like much about what we knew about Detective Tracy Crosswhite was simply told to us: she was too personally involved in this case because her own sister had gone missing twenty years ago and Tracy had sacrificed her own personal happiness searching for answers. I’m guessing some of that insight would have been answered for me if I’d read the earlier books in this series.
While Tracy and her partner Kins investigate the body found in the water, there is cross-department feuding over jurisdiction. (Was it murder? Was it a missing persons case that belonged to another county?)
I did like how well drawn the supporting characters are, but it’s not until the last fifty pages of the book that things really start to get interesting. Dugoni is a gifted writer; I’ll definitely be reading all of his books that I can get my hands on.
Blood on the Tracks by Barbara Nickless
Mystery > Suspense
Railroad cop and Iraq veteran Sydney Parnell is brought in to help track down The Burned Man, a man known for riding the rails and suspected of a vicious murder of a woman who reached out to people in need, including those who ride trains.
The Burned Man is an Iraq vet who has burns over thirty percent of his body, including his face. He should be easy to find, but when Sydney and her canine, Clyde (who is also haunted by his time in Iraq), join the Denver Police on the case, Sydney begins to suspect that maybe someone other than The Burned Man is responsible for the woman’s horrible death.
Sydney still sees the ghosts of the people she put back together during her time in mortuary affairs in Iraq. Even before her two tours of duty, she had a rough childhood. She is a complex individual, and both Sydney and her dog are likeable characters. The snowy, cold Denver weather and setting play an important role in this story as well.
I highly recommend this suspense-filled story.
The Trespasser by Tana French
Mystery > Suspense
This is not my favorite Tana French book. In The Trespasser, Detectives Antoinette Conway and Steve Moran are assigned what they think is a run-of-the-mill domestic dispute gone horribly awry. After all, there is no forced entry and they know that she was meeting a date that night. They do think there is something suspicious about the way Detective Breslin wants them to arrest the boyfriend ASAP, but despite his hurry, they do their best to look into the few things at odds with making this an open and shut case.
The problem with this book, unlike other French’s novels, is that because the lead detectives think this is boring and run-of-the-mill, and because things don’t really start unraveling until the last one hundred pages or so, it’s also kind of run-of-the-mill and boring for us, the readers. Also, the writing isn’t the high-literary quality of her other books.
This is still well written and it will keep you turning pages, it’s just not her best work. Start with her novels in the Murder Squad series 1-5, like Into the Woods or The Secret Place.