Wednesday, May 18, 2016

In the Clearing

In the Clearing by Robert Dugoni
Thomas & Mercer: 5/17/16
eBook review copy; 355 pages
ISBN-13: 9781503953574
Tracy Crosswhite series #3

In the Clearing by Robert Dugoni is another winning third book featuring Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite.

Tracy is asked by Klickitat County Sheriff Jenny Almond to look at a cold case - a cold case from 1976, 40 years ago, that was handled by her late father, Sheriff Buzz Almond. At that time Buzz was a deputy and it was the first case he handled. He was never satisfied with the investigation and kept the file at his home. Tracy agrees to look over the case and see what she can find.

One night in 1976 high school senior Kimi Kanasket was working at the diner. She called her parents to let them know she was walking home, as she normally did, but this time Kimi didn't come home. Her parents called the sheriff's and Buzz responded. There was something about the case and the final ruling that never sat well with Buzz. Tracy calls in some experts to help her see what Buzz saw, or what may have been overlooked in 1976.

In the present, Tracy and the team at the Seattle PD are looking into the murder of Tim Collins. It looks like his estranged wife shot him, and she is saying she did, but all the clues may not be adding up to her story. Things become more questionable when her son comes into the station and claims he shot his father. Tracy is involved with this case but leaves much of the work to the boys as she takes some time to look at the case of Kimi Kanasket.

Dugoni is an engaging writer who skillfully manages the plot development while keeping interest in both investigations. Tracy's character is well developed (after reading the previous two novels) in this police procedural. My Sister's Grave and Her Final Breath are the previous two books in the series. I enjoyed both of them immensely. But, that said, don't let the fact that this is the third book featuring Tracy Crosswhite stop you from reading In the Clearing. This can hold up as a stand-alone novel, although I would predict that you will want to read the first two, especially if you appreciate a strong female main character.

I will admit that the final verdict in both of the cases was not entirely surprising this time around. Also, since Tracy is more focused on the cold case from 1976, that case also seems to be the more interesting of the two cases. This is highly recommended.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer for review purposes.

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