By Robert Dugoni
Series: Tracy Crosswhite #2
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 9/15/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Talented, Robert Dugoni returns from My Sister’s Grave, Tracy Crosswhite Series #1, with the second in the series, HER FINAL BREATH, featuring tenacious Seattle homicide detective, Tracy Crosswhite. This time around with a serial killer,and a stalker on her trail—The Cowboy, who likes more than riding horses and wearing cowboy boots; preferring, sadistic bondage, strippers, and seedy motels.
If you read the first book in the series, we learned of Tracy’s quest to find her sister’s real killer, when she returned to her hometown of Cedar Grove, WA. Growing 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.
We also met Dan O’Leary, in the first book; a well-known attorney and one of Tracy’s childhood friends who works with her, trying to free Edmond from prison and reopen a case with a retrial. Now, Dan her boyfriend, once again is at her side, in book 2, supporting her with another investigation. Fighting off the bad guys.
Tracy has rejoined the Violent Crime Squad and a dancer at the Pink Palace was strangled. She thinks the case may be connected to another older cold case. Things get complicated, and appears someone is targeting Tracy, and she is pulled from the task force. (of course, this has never stopped her before).
Hot on the trail The Cowboy and a stalker? Are they one in the same? A copycat? Or an obsession of love/hate? Are they after one or two? Dozens of photographs lining the wall, a collage with a black X over Tracy’s face—along with diaries, scrapbooks, and articles of each of the four killings with words and paragraphs highlighted.
Dan wants her to go back to Cedar Grove, so he could protect her and keep her safe. He is concerned about Tracy since she has not fully dealt with Sarah’s death, nor had the time to do so properly, with the events in the last six months. Then when she returned to Seattle, she was thrown immediately into more insanity with the deaths of the dancers. Dan suspects she sees those victims as she saw her sister – her responsibility— and he is worried about the stress that guilt creates.
Nolasco, her boss, a bully with an ego, and a complete ass, does not make things easy for Tracy and continues to put her in harm’s way. What if they have the wrong guy? She makes it her mission to track down The Cowboy before he strikes again.
Wow, as with his last book, Dugoni delivers a mystery suspense thriller with well developed, top-shelf characters. He keeps you guessing and all the while, you have to love Tracy and her team; her tenacity fighting against all odds. I also appreciate Dugoni’s attention to detail and references to his research, which I find fascinating. A good mix of crime, cop procedural, mystery, and suspense thriller.
If you missed Third Watch, A Tracy Crosswhite Short Story8/15/15, a great way to catch up with the character (prequel to My Sister’s Grave). For an earlier account of Tracy and her sister, another short story, The Academy 9/9/14. I missed these short stories and just grabbed them on Kindle Unlimited. Highly recommend, the series for those who enjoy sharp, kick-ass female crime fighters, with a personality.
Look for In the Clearing (Tracy Crosswhite Book 3), coming 5/17/2016! Cannot wait to see what’s next. Will she retire? Doubt that will ever happen. Maybe a legal twist? A huge legal/crime thriller fan.