Monday, May 16, 2016

Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson

Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson

I became a fan of Dee’s many years ago. Her romantic suspense novels hooked both me and my husband into devouring her books, one after another. I was glad to read this title for review.

Let’s begin with the summary:

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 Thane grew 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.

And now, my review:

Dee has such a strong sense of story. I liked the hint of romance at the beginning—with a pining MC. That hooked me right away.  

This author tells the story through dialogue, which would work for writing a movie script. However, at times the dialogue (like the sentence phrasing) was stilted. There is very little introspection in any of the many POVs, and therefore the characters didn’t feel very deep or individual. Sometimes the POV missteps and awkward sentence phrasing jarred me out of the story. And, for the most part, all of the characters (minus one or two) have the same voice. 

One of my favorite authors and writing friends gets a character named after her within. Loved seeing that! (*waving at Susie) We do get to see the characters’ competence throughout.  Dee is fantastic at including police procedurals. Watching this investigation unfold, I was fascinated. I don’t watch crime shows on TV, so I’m not exposed to these techniques very often. Loved that aspect. 

Sometimes, I found that the pacing dragged with redundancies and long stretches of dialogue. And I would have loved to see a strong romantic thread throughout. Still, I enjoyed this novel and kept coming back so I could finish it. 

I liked the aspect of survival. The spiritual threads, though subtle, were welcome and refreshing. 

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