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.
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. Visit her at http://www.deehenderson.com.
I have kind of been on a Dee Henderson kick lately. She has filled my morning walks with interesting characters, excellent writing and intriguing plots. In Traces of Guilt, Henderson introduces readers to new characters while including old favorites from previous books. This book is more mystery than suspense, since the crimes are cold cases, having taken place years before the present action. As part of a new task force put together by Governor-elect Bliss, Evie Blackwell uses vacation time to get a headstart on the investigations. Rural Carin County has not one, but three for her to puzzle over. Joining her in the investigation are friend Ann Falcon and Sheriff Gabriel Thane. All aspects of the cases are explored including likely and unlikely motives and suspects.
Traces of Guilt is not a fast-paced suspense novel. It is more of a methodical uncovering of layers involved with missing persons cases. Through intuition and professional expertise, the investigators get to the bottom of the mysteries. I liked this aspect of the book — a plausible look at real-life police work. Characters do spend a lot of time thinking (and in some cases over-thinking) relationships — their own and others. I found that a bit tedious, especially since I was listening to the book. That’s a disadvantage in an audiobook. It’s harder to skim over the boring parts. 😉 Fortunately, I found those to be few. I also liked Evie Blackwell and Gabriel Thane. Evie is much less high maintenance than some of Henderson’s female characters and Gabriel, while solicitous, is more believable in his actions than the long-suffering males in some of Henderson’s novels.
This audiobook was a good choice for my morning exercise and I look forward to future books in the series.
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(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)