A young woman is found brutally murdered, and the main suspect is the victim’s fiancé, a hideously scarred Iraq War vet known as the Burned Man. But railroad police Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell, brought in by the Denver Major Crimes unit to help investigate, can't shake the feeling that larger forces are behind this apparent crime of passion.
In the depths of an icy winter, Parnell and her K9 partner, Clyde―both haunted by their time in Iraq―descend into the underground world of a savage gang of rail riders. There, they uncover a wide-reaching conspiracy and a series of shocking crimes. Crimes that threaten everything Parnell holds dear.
As the search for the truth puts her directly in the path of the killer, Parnell must struggle with a deadly question: Can she fight monsters without becoming one herself?
Once in a while, a book turns up that right from the start sucks me into the story and makes me fall in love with its characters. Blood on the Tracks is a book like that. I was instantly hooked with the story and I could not for my life figure out the truth about the young woman death before Syndey Rose herself figured it out. Railroad police Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell is a new favorite heroine of mine. Her past in the army has left her with a broken heart and awful memories that plague her every day. And she sees ghosts, they don't talk to her, but they are with her. A constant reminder of the war and not only that soon she sees the murdered woman as well...
Blood on the Tracks is Barbara Nickless debut book and the first in a series and I just can't wait to read the next book. I was impressed both with the story and the writing and I found Sydney Rose Parnell to be such a wonderful character, damaged both from childhood traumas and from the war when her lover Dougie died during a mission. I found myself loving Dougie as well, despite him hardly being in the story, just memories. The link to the war in Iraq is fascinating and I can't wait to find out more in the next book because something clearly isn't right with the "secret mission and events around it" and it seems that there are people who don't want Parnell to investigate it. I also found Parnell's relationship with Detective Mike Cohen interesting, and it will be interesting to see if he will be able to break down her walls. Then, we have Clyde, her K9 partner, I just love books that feature K9 dogs and Clyde just as Parnell has gone through hell in Iraq. In a way, they cling to each other after losing the one person that they love the most; Dougie.
Blood on the Tracks is a truly remarkable book, it's never dull, the characters are well-developed and flawed and I just love that Parnell sees ghosts. It feels like this was a book written for me with all the bookish ingredients I love.