Posted 20 hours ago

My Sister's Grave (Tracy Crosswhite Book 1)

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Twenty years earlier, her younger sister, Sarah, who was then eighteen, disappeared after the two had participated in a shooting competition. retells the events of that evening in flashback, recounting how, upon leaving a shooting championship, Tracy asked Sarah to drive her truck back to Cedar Grove during a storm so Tracy and her boyfriend could make it to their romantic dinner reservation. This is a unique thriller that kept me guessing all the way to the horrifying conclusion that had me on the edge of my seat and in complete shock. She leaves behind no memories worth keeping: her husband is dead, her boss has made no bones about disliking her, and she’s looking forward to new responsibilities and the higher salary underwritten by North Dakota’s sudden oil boom. His writing is so good; while I have compared him to Grisham in the past her, I also am going to layer in a comparison to Sandra Brown.

Dugoni uses vivid descriptions that help a reader to better understand the small-town environment as well as the weather, secrets, lies, and emotions that are prevalent in the book.Tracy Crosswhite, the victim’s older sister, is a sympathetic protagonist who joins the Seattle Police Department years later so she has better access to information and can track her sister’s killer. Twenty years ago Tracy Crosswhite’s sister disappeared, her body was never found, but a man was convicted of her murder due to circumstancial evidence, Tracy knew that the evidence didn’t add up. What I will say, is that when I purchased this book, I was unaware of the level of violence in the story. Twenty years later, the pain is still sharp and ultimately led Tracy to give up her career as a teacher to become a homicide detective. I’m not sure how she felt about the whole sordid mess once all was said and done, and I wonder if she feels the same way I do, but I do think she will be able to live her life fully now that she knows the whole truth about Sarah and what really happened to her.

The plot elements may not be exactly fresh, but Dugoni does a superior job of positioning them for maximum impact, especially in a climactic scene set in an abandoned mine during a blizzard—which is melodramatic but nevertheless effective. I already have book two in the series lined up, so I'm hoping I'll feel more connected with that one. One, from the beginning, Dugoni intersperses chapters where old Cascade County townsfolk are conspiring to cover up the murder.Tracy doesn’t believe the man they convicted of killing Sarah, Edmund House, was the right one because of issues with the evidence. This first one addresses nearly exclusively what is a backdrop for the rest of the books, the murder of Tracy Crosswhites younger sister and the effect it has on her family. It is a gripping emotional and strong character-driven suspense legal thriller, of one woman’s mission to find her sister’s real killer. Murder, mystery, justice, and suspense take center stage in Robert Dugoni’s first book in the Tracy Crosswhite series: My Sister’s Grave.

Tracy re-invents herself from chemistry teacher to a Seattle detective leaving the likes of her small town of Cedar Grove in the rearview mirror.Most basic chemistry is rarely used by the layperson (reader), but everyone uses a electricity on a daily basis. Book one is a great start with interesting characters and lots of great action to keep you entertained. Tracy Crosswhite is a strong and determined woman with a potential for complexity that I’d like to explore. As Tracy went off to dinner with her boyfriend, Sarah left to drive home in the rain and was never seen again. I definitely enjoyed reading this novel, and had it not been for Christmas and the holidays , I would have devoured it faster.

Soon she’s leading an effort to free her sister’s convicted killer, and we have the cops and lawyers who worked on the case muttering mysteriously that “everything is about to come out. I also had the position of being very familiar with the characters so had immediate investment in them. I loved My Sister’s Grave and was drawn in from the beginning, and can easily recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery. Most mystery/thriller novels are fairly formulaic but while I know this, I generally don't feel it while I'm reading. Perhaps a little longer than it should have been, something that is certainly addressed in the later novels in the series I’ve read, it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment and readability as always of a Dugoni novel.

The plot, though pretty straightforward, held my interest throughout, though there are some slower spots during the first third of the story. The only thing is, I started the series on the fourth or fifth book in so never read the early books.

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