My Sister's Grave
It’s been 20 years since Tracy Crosswhite’s sister, Sarah, disappeared one night as she drove home. The evening was supposed to be a wildly happy one for Tracy, but it turned into the worst nightmare she ever could have imagined. Guilt has eaten at her since; in fact, it threatens to crush her. How could she have let her little sister drive off alone? In an instant her life changed, along with her goals.
Set contentedly upon a career as an elementary school teacher, Tracy switches paths to that of homicide detective and dedicates her time to pursuing clues in hopes of finding out what happened to Sarah. Without a body, though, leads have proven hard to come by. Until now. A hunter’s dog has discovered a human bone that can be positively linked to Sarah.
"Robert Dugoni dishes up a superb thriller --- his first to feature a female protagonist --- that poses a delicious moral dilemma. For at least a while, you won’t know which characters to root for and which to despise."
In looking over the new evidence and reviewing the old, Tracy finds discrepancies that cause the hairs on the back of her neck to stand up. Twenty years ago, Edmund House, a convicted rapist, supposedly confessed to snatching Sarah off the road and killing her. But now it appears that House could have been wrongfully convicted. Someone or someones may have manipulated or even planted evidence. However, when Tracy gets serious about reopening the case, the threats start flying. And things begin getting physical. She may be a police detective, but it’s hard to know where the next gunshots will come from.
Oddly, House seems somewhat less than helpful when Tracy seeks the professional advice of her childhood friend, Dan, who has become a lawyer. Is it possible that House doesn’t believe there’s a chance of freedom for him after two decades? Or is something else at work here? The way he looks at Tracy makes her skin crawl. He seems to constantly be smirking and plotting something evil. But if he didn’t get a fair trial, she needs to set things right.
Understandably, the sheriff, prosecutor and House’s original defense lawyer want the case to remain closed. If the evidence is found to have been tampered with, or House’s defense is found to have been inadequate, their careers and reputations could be at stake. Maybe even their freedom. And for what? A very bad man was taken off the streets, a rapist of the worst kind, so why dredge up old memories and open old wounds now? It’s best to leave it all alone. Of course, Tracy can’t.
This becomes the classic warning: Be careful what you wish for. We all want justice to be served. Whether everything was done by the book the first time around with Edmund House, who’s to say justice wasn’t served here anyway? Readers will find themselves in a quandary, wondering what they would have done were they in Tracy Crosswhite’s shoes. Robert Dugoni dishes up a superb thriller --- his first to feature a female protagonist --- that poses a delicious moral dilemma. For at least a while, you won’t know which characters to root for and which to despise. Excellent twists!
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on November 7, 2014