Friday, April 29, 2016

Traces of Guilt - Dee Henderson

Lieutenant Evie Blackwell is taking a "vacation."  A vacation that involves trying to solve several missing person cold cases centered in Carin County, Illinois, as a test case for a special task force that the Governor Elect is trying to form.  Gabriel Thane is the current Sheriff, son of the former Sheriff, and as such, becomes Evie's partner in sifting through the old evidence and searching for new links that may help them to solve these cases that have not been forgotten within the local community.  These cases may be linked by more than just the memories and relationships of the Thane family.

When Ann Falcon first appeared in this book, and mentioned "three brothers," I was excited to think maybe we'd finally gotten the story of the third Bishop brother.   Alas, it was not to be, but instead centered around three new brothers - the Thane brothers: Gabriel, Josh, and Will - who are equally interesting and engaging.  I enjoyed getting to know this new family, but I feel like they were such rich characters that they would have been better served if they'd gotten their own books.  Even still, the author manages to tuck quirky little personality traits into such a full story, like a habit of leaving SweeTarts behind.  This family would have made for a rich trilogy, and instead, their story felt under-served by condensing it into a single book.

The loose tie-in of Ann is an interesting thread to hold these stand-alone novels together.  This particular installment was made more interesting by the introduction of Evie Blackwell, who, it appears, is going to get her own series.  The concept of a task force to solve cold cases is intriguing, and I hope that the series does each case justice, as well as giving its lead characters room to grow.  This one hooked me, but I wanted tighter focus on a few characters and one or two cases, rather than trying to tie so many people, romances, and mysteries together into one novel.  I hope that Evie stays in touch with the Thane family, so that we can as well.

I give this book 3.5 stars.  I look forward to reading more about Evie (and I still want to read about Jim Bishop!).

You can find Traces of Guilt HERE.
You can find Dee Henderson's site HERE.
You can find more from the publisher, including an excerpt and author Q&A HERE.

I received an e-book copy of this book from Bethany House, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

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