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By: Tawni O'Dell
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 1/5/2016
My Rating: 3 Stars
A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Tawni O’Dell returns following One of Us (2014), with another haunting suspense mystery, set in the rural Pennsylvania area. Where secrets are buried— and the past threatens to roar its ugly head in the present.
Dove Carnahan a fifty-year-old tough police chief in the rural Pennsylvanian coal town. A mom’s murder has been hidden. Thirty-five years ago, the most heinous crime this town has ever seen—until today.
The crime has been forgotten by most, except her children, her mother, and the man who unfairly paid for it. Dove is loved by her community; however, beneath her badge lies a dark secret, she has kept since she was sixteen. Neely, Champ, and Dove—then they moved to Gil’s mansion when they were fourteen, twelve, and nine.
As the book opens, someone has stuffed a girl, beaten to death in a fiery hole in the ground. The top portion of her body had been badly burned. Her hair is gone and the damage to her skull is obvious. Hopefully she was dead before she was lit on fire.
One of the worst crimes she is faced with solving. Plus, one of the worst families. Dove and Nolan are on the case (they also have a little history). To further complicate her life, the man convicted of killing Dove’s mother is released from prison, where he has spent the last thirty-give years.
Years ago, her mother’s only standard for men was that they could afford her. Young, old, handsome, homely, muscly, portly, blue-collar, white-collar, married, single, educated, and as dumb as dirt: she had watched all kinds come and go. Very few of them appealed to Neely and Dove. Lucky had been a jerk from the start.
Now she is dealing with the dead girl’s family – The Trulys. Camio Truly, only seventeen years old. The girl went missing and now they will need her dental records to identify her. Who would do such a horrific thing to a young girl?
During her twenty-seven years in law enforcement, each homicide was committed by a family member, spouse, or significant other.
At the moment, she has no idea why anyone would want Camino truly dead, but someone has to answer the question.” She wants Camio’s killer brought to justice as much as anyone—including her own family.
Told from Dove’s POV, readers get the down and dirty from all the rednecks, hillbillies, and dysfunction in town; mixed with wit and sass. Intertwined with the present day girl’s murder, Dove has an angry man out of prison on her trail, and demands answers why her family lied and sent him to prison.
Can you say, psychological damage? The two stories connect. The ties that bind---despair, family; and the lengths they will go to protect those they love, crossing moral lines of right and wrong (victim and survivor).
For me, I would not classify the novel as a psychological thriller, as much as it is a mystery; family dysfunction, and character-driven, with a feisty protagonist.