by M.E. Browning
October 11 - November 5, 2021 Tour
The late summer heat in Echo Valley, Colorado turns lush greenery into a tinder dry landscape. When a young girl mysteriously disappears, long buried grudges rekindle. Of the two Flores girls, Marisa was the one people pegged for trouble. Her younger sister, Lena, was the quiet daughter, dutiful and diligent—right until the moment she vanished.
Detective Jo Wyatt is convinced the eleven-year-old girl didn’t run away and that a more sinister reason lurks behind her disappearance. For Jo, the case is personal, reaching far back into her past. But as she mines Lena’s fractured family life, she unearths a cache of secrets and half-lies that paints a darker picture.
As the evidence mounts, so do the suspects, and when a witness steps forward with a shocking new revelation, Jo is forced to confront her doubts, and her worst fears. Now, it’s just a matter of time before the truth is revealed—or the killer makes another deadly move.
That Browning has police experience really shows in this novel. The detail of the missing child investigation is engaging. Jo is a tenacious detective. I like her better in this novel than the first one. She doesn't seem to have a chip on her shoulder any longer. She just wants to find the missing child. There are plenty of suspects to follow as additional facts are revealed. There is a good dose of breath catching suspense near the end.
While the investigation of the missing child is prominent, the narrative is just as much about Jo and her complex relationships. Her investigation brings up the past as more of her earlier life is revealed. This is a good mystery for readers who like a balance of investigative procedure and character development. I am liking Jo more and more and will be looking for the next novel featuring her.
This is the second mystery featuring Jo Wyatt and you can read my review of the first one, Shadow Ridge.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Published by: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: October 12th 2021
Number of Pages: 288
ISBN: 1643857622 (ISBN13: 9781643857626)
Series: A Jo Wyatt Mystery, Book 2 || Each mystery in the A Jo Wyatt Mystery series is a stand alone novel.
Purchase Links: Penguin Random House | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
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