Evie Blackwell’s reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor’s new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results–and quickly.
Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn’t be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.
With a deep conviction that “justice for all” truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.
When I saw this book description offered by Bethany House I knew I had to request. Christian fiction – win. Mystery – win. Cold case files – bonus. I knew it was the second book in a series but since I was getting the eBook version through NetGalley I decided that if I started it lost I’d set it aside and grab the first book before reading and reviewing. And while I know there is crossover with previous character development it worked just fine on it’s own so I just kept on reading. Knowing full well I’ll go back and grab the first book too, because I can and want to. Not have to mind you but want to. As I was reading I didn’t expect to get so caught up in the lives of all those involved. Evie with her boyfriend and her hard decisions about taking the next step. David and his super famous fiance and their hard decisions about taking the next step. The cold cases they were working and the lives that were changed because of what happened, and never knowing for sure what happened. The way their totally unrelated cases overlapped into each other and intertwined with their personal lives. All of it was engaging. Which makes me wonder how on Earth anyone can write a synopsis of a mystery that is engaging without giving anything away? I feel like I always miss the mark but gravy if I’m throwing out spoilers!
There were a couple of drawbacks for me in this book, outside a mostly positive overall experience. First, at times the faith in the book felt awkward. Even the times where it fit into the story so well it took an awkward feel to it as though ‘I’ve got to get as much in here as possible so if a little is good a lot is better’. That approach is sorta like salt and cooking. When it’s the right amount in the right food it’s perfect. A lot doesn’t make it better. And even a little in the wrong thing doesn’t work either. It wasn’t a huge negative but I think the edges could have been smoothed a bit. The other biggie was the lack of scene segues or even just scene breaks period. A conversation one day goes right into another thought the next day. An inner monologue between two different days doesn’t really do it either. I’d have to go back and reread a paragraph or two just to make sure I hadn’t totally missed something. I didn’t it just didn’t break naturally. So, that out of the way lets talk good stuff.
And good stuff there is. Henderson does an amazing job of writing a mystery with real people and real lives that draws you in. I care about these characters, I care about their victims and I care about their lives. And when the mysteries were solved I was taken right into it. Evie’s mystery? Kept me guessing right up to the end. Though how on earth those bones weren’t found on accident during a scuffle or some roughhousing (I guess you have a baby spoiler there) I will never understand. They just appeared too easily for how little physical effort it took. But it took me through to the very end. That makes an amazing mystery to me! Like I said, this book had characters that I engaged with and I can’t wait to go back and read the first book. And the upcoming books in this series!
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House and NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
About Dee Henderson
Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O’Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA’s RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online.
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