Title: Traces of Guilt (Evie Blackwell Cold Case #1)
Author: Dee Henderson
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Bethany House
Format: eBook (also available in paperback)
Note: I received a free eBook copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
About the book:
A riveting cold-case mystery from Dee Henderson.
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 is a lifetime resident of Carin County and 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 dedicated to reexamining unsolved crimes across the state. Spearheading this trial run, Evie will work with the sheriff’s department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she reexamines old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly to a third cold case. Evie’s determined to solve the cases before she leaves Carin County, and Sheriff Thane, along with his family, will be key to those answers.
This is an intricately woven mystery.
The character development couldn’t be better in my mind. I am always amazed at how many characters there are in Dee Henderson’s books. I really like seeing how many characters from previous novels make brief appearances in each new book. She truly seems to have “a small world” scenario going on even crossing over from series to series. Along with that she has a marvelous talent for revealing personal information in a subtle way so that it feels like it comes out of a clear blue sky.
The cases that are being reexamined in this book are quickly summarized as each one is initially discussed. They over the course of time they are slowly picked apart and looked at from every possible angle.
One of the aspects of the search that is covered is the search for cadavers using specially trained dogs. The way that a handler works with a pair of dogs was described in great detail. I was fascinated by the information given.
I do want to warn that this is a very heavy book to read emotionally. The subject matter of two of the cases made it a difficult read. On top of that there is a great deal of focus placed on one of the family members who is looking for closure, and the emotions that she has been dealing with for years. I found myself having to take breaks from my reading just to work through the feelings that were stirred up in me for what the characters were dealing with. To me though that is just proof of how good the writing is.