Publisher: Amazon Publishing/ Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 11/01/2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
A new thriller from New York Times best-selling author Robert Dugoni.
Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House—a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder—is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.
When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past—and open the door to deadly danger.
A special thank you to Amazon Publishing, Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
MY SISTER’S GRAVE by Robert Dugoni is an emotional and riveting strong character-driven suspense legal thriller, of one woman’s quest to find her sister’s real killer.
Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite, age forty-two lost her sister Sarah (four years younger), over twenty years ago, when she disappeared and still feels guilty and responsible. When a young woman’s remains are discovered, Tracy returns to her mountain hometown of Cedar Grove, WA.
When Tracy grew up in the small town, her passion was the sport of shooting, and the top competitor in the Washington State Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS) Championships --A three fun action sport utilizing a combination of pistols, rifles, and shotguns for showcasing and measuring shooting quickness and accuracy.
Twenty years ago, just after a CAS Championship when Sarah, was kidnapped and murdered, her body was never found, but a local man on parole for rape was arrested and convicted of the crime. Tracy never believed he was the real killer.
Tracy is obsessed with finding the real killer and now with a body being discovered, and with the help of Don O’Leary, now a well-known attorney and one of Tracy’s childhood friends agrees to work with her, as they try and free Edmond (currently in prison). She wants to reopen the case and track down the murderer still out there.
Flashing back from past to present, as readers learn the events leading up to the tragic evening, (where we learn more about Sarah). After the championship. Tracy had asked Sarah to drive her back to the town during a storm so Tracy and her boyfriend could make their date with an evening out. The next morning the truck was discovered along a road and no Sarah. Of course, the entire family fell apart, stricken by grief and guilt with a town left shocked.
At the time it seemed odd Edmund House was sent to prison for the apparent murder. However, now, Tracy feels she has a second chance to find her sister’s real killer. Could the guy sent to prison be a cover up or a conspiracy to throw off suspicion of the real murderer? What about the poor guy who has been serving time for a crime he did not commit. What really happened that one night so long ago?
I am not a fan of shooting competitions; however, a huge fan of legal crime thrillers, courtroom dramas, investigations, and police procedures with well-developed characters, and Dugoni delivers on all these accounts; however, what gave it a nice twist—a flavor of an old school hard boiled mystery (possibly due to the small town characters, as can envision the setting).
While the first part involved flashbacks to set the stage leading up to the events of the night years ago, and the remainder is where I devoured the legal, law, and the heart-pounding suspense to find the motive behind the night which changed lives.
As a huge Grisham fan, Dugoni reminds me a lot of his style as his writing adds personal and emotional ties to his characters and the overall story. As some of the other reviewers mentioned the villain could have been more fleshed out more; however, by doing so, would have been more on the psycho-thriller side; and feel this was not the strong point, as I would classify as more of a mystery, crime suspense legal thriller with light romance.
Look forward to reading more from this author! (nice touch with the memory of the book to his former brother-in-law) who died earlier this year.