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A great start to the series: "Traces of Guilt" by Dee Henderson
about the book....
She's turning up the heat on Carin County's cold cases . . . 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 Thanegrew up in Carin County and is 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 focused on unsolved crimes across the state. She will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she studies old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths surprising connections. One way or another, she knows Gabriel Thane and his family will be key to the answers she seeks.
I can easily say that "Traces of Guilt" is one of the most enjoyable Dee Henderson novels that I have read to date from her collection of writings. Once again, she has excelled at creating memorable, likeable characters, and I found myself completed engaged in the story as I watched Evie Blackwell chase down leads and unravel the past as she seeks to solve a cold case with the help of the other characters. Perhaps the one negative about the book is that it is quite long and sometimes I felt there were a few too many details. However, at the same time I appreciate that Henderson takes the time to thoroughly develop her characters to the point that you really get to know them, and come to be invested in the journey that they are on. The intricacies of the cold cases themselves are fascinating to read about, and Henderson appears to capture an authentic feel to the detective work. As the story unfolds, it is easy to see how the original police investigators ended up missing key elements that eventually are uncovered and lead to the truth. I gained a whole new appreciation for how complicated police work can be, and when you add in the high stress environments it is amazing that the police can accomplish what they do in real life! Although the novel is characterised as romantic suspense, it did not seem that the story is suspenseful in the sense of a character being afraid for their life. At the same time, there is a driving force at work in the story that will keep readers on their toes; because you come to care about the characters so much, you ache to see the truth revealed so that they can experience healing in their own journeys. When those moments happen, you will celebrate for the characters as they move forward, while feeling brokenhearted about the pain they have experienced.
All in all, there is much to love about this book, and I have no doubt that Dee Henderson fans will be well-pleased with her latest offering. Indeed, any reader who loves trying to unravel a mystery along with the characters will enjoy "Traces of Guilt". I give this book a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
about the author....
Dee Henderson is the author of numerous novels, including Taken, Undetected, Unspoken, Full Disclosure, and the acclaimed O'Malley and Uncommon Heroes series. Her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, such as the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the ECPA Gold Medallion. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois. Learn more at www.deehenderson.com.