Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson

This is a different kind of mystery There is no suspense and no intense action. We readers gently follow a detective with the Illinois State Police as she works to solve a couple of cold cases.

Even though this novel is not the type of mystery I usually enjoy, I found it compelling reading. It centers on Evie Blackwell. She is a dedicated detective who has taken her two week vacation to work on a couple of cold cases in a small Illinois town. The plot consists of following Evie as she goes through all the evidence files of decade old missing persons, a young girl, and a family of three.

I found two aspects of the novel interesting. One is getting to know Evie. We learn much about her as she relates to the local sheriff and his brothers. The other aspect is how Evie thinks through the evidence and finds new possibilities. She is very methodical and imaginative. Much of the novel is thinking about the cases or discussing them. Reading the novel is like being present in the scene. Nearly every action is described.

So this is very much a character driven mystery. The characters in the novel are woven well into both the present and the past. How some of the characters deal with what is discovered is a major aspect of the novel.

There is one aspect of Henderson's writing style that irritates me a bit. When characters are in dialogue, each addresses the other by name several times in the conversation. I just do not see that regularly happening in a short exchange.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy a character based mystery. You'll learn how a cold case is resurrected, discussed, and investigated.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Dee Henderson is a best selling author of a number of novels. You can find out more at www.deehenderson.com.

Bethany House, 400 pages.

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