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?
Returning to her role as Homicide Detective for Seattle PD after taking time off to search for her sister’s killer, Tracy finds herself faced with the death of another young woman, this time a dancer in a local gentleman’s club. The woman, found hog-tied in a motel room and forced to strangle herself, has died a horrible death…one that exactly matches that of another dancer in another motel room.
It was a case Tracy was working on before her sister’s remains were found, one that her captain decided was a cold case and has filed away. Now it seems he was wrong, and Tracy has a serial killer on her hands, a cold, calculating one that means the women essentially kill themselves whilst he (or she) watches. She might also have the serial killer after her, putting her life in danger.
I really liked Tracy. She’s a good cop, cares for her team (who like her too) and her boyfriend, Dan. I like that she is vulnerable, her baggage (the death of her sister and subsequent relationship with her parents) making her that way, but isn’t hard or mean – something you often see in damaged female detectives. As a character she is well-rounded and well-developed, having grown since the last book.
I also liked the plot, including that it wasn’t gory. It was cleverly done, with lots of twists and turns and dead ends. And if that isn’t bad enough there are the roadblocks put in the way by the captain, who – unlike Tracy – isn’t that nice, especially when one of his old cases starts to come under scrutiny. I didn’t like Nolasco but he was a good foil to Tracy and added to the tension as more dead bodies turned up.
And, finally, I liked the writing. Robert Dugoni is really good at setting a scene and developing characters, who have all grown since the first book and become much more real. I was completely drawn in from the first few pages and didn’t want to put the book down. I could feel the cold, grey, Seattle days and the seediness of the streets. In fact, I was slightly disappointed when it was over and can’t wait to read the next book in the series. Really, really, liked this one.
p.s you might also enjoy Dugoni’s first Tracy Crosswhite novel – My Sister’s Grave
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Pages: 426 (kindle)
Published on: 15th September, 2015