BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bea Reviews In the Clearing and The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni

Bea's Book Nook, Review, In the Clearing, Robert Dugoni
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Detective Tracy Crosswhite has a skill, and a soft spot, for tackling unsolved crimes. Having lost her own sister to murder at a young age, Tracy has dedicated her career to bringing justice and closure to the families and friends of victims of crime.

So when Jenny, a former police academy classmate and protégé, asks Tracy to help solve a cold case that involves the suspicious suicide of a Native American high school girl forty years earlier, Tracy agrees. Following up on evidence Jenny’s detective father collected when he was the investigating deputy, Tracy probes one small town’s memory and finds dark, well-concealed secrets hidden within the community’s fabric. Can Tracy uphold the promise she’s made to the dead girl’s family and deliver the truth of what happened to their daughter? Or will she become the next victim?

My Thoughts:

Two cases, one present and active and one past and closed. The latter gets reopened by Crosswhite as a favor to a friend. Although that case was ruled a suicide, the friend's father, who worked on the case, was never satisfied with that resolution. At the same time that Crosswhite is working that case, she and her partner are working a present day case that appears simple at first but quickly gets complicated.

The two cases don't have much in common but it was fascinating watching Crosswhite, her partner, and their team work them. Especially fascinating was the difference in technology, and also methodology as Dugoni shows us the old case as it was worked by the original detective back in 1976 and as it's worked now by Crosswhite. She works it thoroughly and patiently, using modern techniques and resources while being hampered by the fact that witnesses and people otherwise involved have died, moved, or gotten ill. The story is a sad one, there's not a happy ending though Crosswhite does find answers. I got a little bit overwhelmed with some of the details concerning, water, rivers, temperature, speed, etc. The information was necessary to the story but could probably have been trimmed a bit.

The modern day story was gripping and also sad though really, any story where there's death and murder is going to be sad. The story took turns both predictable and unexpected. At times I was certain I knew where Dugoni and then BOOM! Left turn. But the twists and turns weren't simply to keep us awake or on our toes; they served the story and moved things along or revealed new information about the case or a character.

"In the Clearing" was a sad yet satisfying story that kept me up late, swiping the screen on my Kindle.

Also, some people shouldn't be parents. Really, they shouldn't. Come to think of it, that applies to both the stories, so they are connected, if tenuously

Bea's Book Nook, Review, The Trapped Girl, Robert Dugoni
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: Jan. 24th, 2017
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?

After evidence surfaces that their Jane Doe may be a woman who suspiciously disappeared months earlier, Tracy is once again haunted by the memory of her sister’s unsolved murder. Dredging up details from the woman’s past leads to conflicting clues that only seem to muddy the investigation. As Tracy begins to uncover a twisted tale of brutal betrayal and desperate greed, she’ll find herself risking everything to confront a killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight. Once again, New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni delivers a taut, riveting thriller in the fourth installment of his acclaimed Tracy Crosswhite series.

My Thoughts:

Oh, I knew how I wanted this story to end. I wanted a happy ending. That's hard to do when the person you're rooting for may be dead or may be a murderer or may be a psychopath or....Dugoni weaves the story from both the perspective of detective Crosswhite and that of one of the victims. We're in the head of the woman back before the body in the crab pot is found. As the investigation moves forward, and more questions than answers are found, we learn more about the life, and thinking process, of the woman they're investigating. And damn it, I didn't want her to die. Gah.

The investigation takes many different directions as the detectives work to uncover the identity of the woman in the pot, who killed her and why, where is the murderer, and what exactly happened and when and where. The when and where become even more important when another police department claims jurisdiction. Crosswhite and team are reluctant to give up the investigation and fight to keep it. Their captain, with whom Crosswhite has an antagonistic relationship at the best of times, is not exactly supportive and the team bends a few rules and procedures as they conduct the investigation and fight for it. While all this is going on, Crosswhite's love life also takes a turn and she has to deal with that too.
 Dugoni's storytelling just may have hit peak with this story as the blend of plot, story, characters, and action are near perfect. He moves neatly from putting you smack in the middle of an interview or other procedure to putting you in the middle of a character's head or heart. The team is a strong one and a close-knit one. They have their disagreements but they always pull together and watch out for each other. The series is Crosswhite's but her team is the framework that allows her to shine. 

While this, and all of the books, work fine as stand-alones, you'll better appreciate the characters if you read in order.  And why not start at the beginning as this series is just wonderful; full of complex stories and characters and rich detail. One book left and I'm both looking forward to it and sad that the series is ending.

A favorite quote:

"You said we were family," Faz said. "This is what family does. We do dumbass shit, but we do it together."

My review of book one, My Sister's Grave
My review of book two, Her Final Breath 

4 comments:

  1. These both sound fantastic Bea. I love these type of mysteries and look forward to reading them both

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  2. Oh these sound interesting. Great review, Bea. My first love was mystery. Been wanting to get back to this genre for a while but I haven't found the perfect one (ones) so far. Thanks for sharing. I'll add these books to my list. :)

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  3. I loved the first Tracy Crosswhite book...I need to get caught up on the series. I didn't know it was ending!

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  4. I've been wanting to read My Sister's Grave and these sound like good mysteries as well. I love the quote!

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