Series: Tracy Crosswhite #2
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Challenges: Finishing the Series | NetGalley and Edelweiss ARCs
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Powell's | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
Homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite has returned to the police force after the sensational retrial of her sister’s killer. Still scarred from that ordeal, Tracy is pulled into an investigation that threatens to end her career, if not her life.
A serial killer known as the Cowboy is killing young women in cheap motels in North Seattle. Even after a stalker leaves a menacing message for Crosswhite, suggesting the killer or a copycat could be targeting her personally, she is charged with bringing the murderer to justice. With clues scarce and more victims dying, Tracy realizes the key to solving the murders may lie in a decade-old homicide investigation that others, including her captain, Johnny Nolasco, would prefer to keep buried. With the Cowboy on the hunt, can Tracy find the evidence to stop him, or will she become his next victim?
The Tracy Crosswhite series is a new favorite it mine. I liked book one, "My Sister's Grave", but I liked this one even more. For one thing, it didn't have the confusing time jumps of the first book. It also gave us Tracy in her element, at her home and regular job, instead of the fish-out-of-water that she was previously.
Tracy is competent at work, dedicated, passionate even. That dedication and passion lead her to make some decisions that break the rules, knowing that she'll likely pay the price. She's willing, if the end result is that she and her team catch the killer. First, she has to do battle with her captain for what seemed an extremely trivial reason; I just didn't buy it. His behavior was juvenile and unprofessional for idiotic reasons. I can think of far possible and believable reasons for him to dislike her and actively work against her. Still, his actions, some of which are not good for his department, do provide a lot of tension.
There it was. She knew he couldn't resist. His ego was just too big, almost as if he were genetically predisposed to be an ass. When she turned around, Nolasco remained seated, leaning back in his chair. He was pathetic, a bully, maybe even a sociopath.
"Her Final Breath" is tension filled, with the actual murder, the machinations of the police captain and other brass, and a story thread from the first book that carries over to this one. I wasn't quite on the edge of my seat but I was engaged, even falling asleep while reading because stopping and going to bed would have been entirely too sensible. :D
Tracy is well-developed and I've already mentioned her jerk wad of a boss, but some of the others, such as Tracy's partner, were not as well-developed. I hope Dugoni will remedy that in the next book. I liked Tracy's interactions with her cat; they were real and gave her added depth, and hey, I'm a cat person! I also liked that Tracy wasn't perfect - she can be impulsive, is judgemental, and sometimes is careless, but she's also compassionate and funny and learning to ask for help when she needs it.
"...This isn't somebody to be taken lightly."
"I know that," she said. "It's why I asked you to come down."
Dan looked momentarily stunned, likely because Tracy wasn't one to often admit feeling vulnerable.
The mystery, mysteries actually, kept me guessing. I was reasonably sure I had it figured but I was dead wrong. :D The murderer of the title was a vicious little bastard, devising an incredibly painful and nasty way to die for his victims. The story was twisty, with little that was predictable and the ending was unexpected, a good surprise.
"Her Final Breath" was entertaining, thrilling, and worth staying up all night to read.
My review of book 1, My Sister's Grave