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My Sister's Grave (Tracy Crosswhite Book 1)

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My Sister’s Grave My Sister’s Grave is the first book in Tracy Crosswhite series by Robert Dugoni. The book introduces the reader to Seattle based homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite. Two decades earlier, her younger sister, Sarah, who was 18 years, then vanished without a trace after the two had participated in shooting range competition. It takes two things to make a great book (OK, that's oversimplified, but bear with me a sec): Being able to tell a good story, and being able to write well. This book has a pretty good grasp on the first part, but utterly fails on the second. Tracy and Sarah were friends with Dan and a bunch of kids growing up.. it is a small town. Anyway, Tracy catches up with Dan and he is a lawyer, she asks him to take a look at all of the work she has kept on the case for 20 years. She tells him there are some things that don't add up. Dan decides to take on the case with Tracy because he can see the things she pointed out to him. It's like really... you people just let this go through? The evidence dug up with the body confirms what she has believed for twenty years: They convicted the wrong guy on false circumstantial evidence. Lead detective of the original task force, Nolasco dares Tracy to do what he failed to: close the case. Forming an uneasy alliance, Tracy and Nolasco revisit old leads and pursue new evidence only to unearth high-level corruption and cover-ups as dangerous as the elusive killer himself. At the risk of being exposed, such deadly and powerful forces will go to extremes to stay in the shadows.

The following version of the novel was used to create this study guide: Dugoni, Robert. My Sister’s Grave. Thomas & Mercer, November 1, 2014. Kindle. Sarah’s disappearance and presumed death not only changed the course of her family’s life but the character of the whole town. Most of the story is told from Tracy’s point of view but her comparisons of the present day and past characteristics of the town presented a stark contrast that I felt emotionally. That was a crucial aspect as Tracy sought to overturn House’s conviction so the case could be properly investigated. House’s past rape conviction made him an unsympathetic “victim” and that made the situation even more contentious. Tracy’s childhood friend Dan O’Leary is now an attorney who agrees to take it on after he sees the evidence conflicts but the two of them seem to stand alone. Robert Dugoni’s books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than thirty languages. My Sister's Grave introduces Tracy Crosswhite, a Seattle police officer whose younger sister went missing 20 years ago. She has been working on the case in her western Washington home town for 10 years. A man had been convicted of first degree murder despite no body having been found. The book opens with the body being found after 20 years. In the interim Crosswhite's dad had committed suicide and her mother was also gone. Crosswhite is convinced that the man had been convicted of first degree murder based on planted evidence and the body supports her suspicion. The novel continues through several twists and turns to a surprising ending.

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The story: Tracy Crosswhite is a Chicago detective, good at her job but haunted by personal demons (and that sounds like a thousand other stories out there, I know, but this gets interesting really fast). Her sister disappeared twenty years ago, her body never discovered, but somebody got caught and was sentenced to life in prison for the murder. Yes, a conspiracy is revealed, but it's an unexpected one, as moving as it is startling...The ending is violent, suspenseful, even touching. A nice surprise for thriller fans." Tracy Crosswhite makes a very engaging protagonist and the story moves at such a fast clip that it's almost impossible to put the book down once it gets rolling. Called in to consult after a young woman disappears, Tracy Crosswhite has the uneasy feeling that this is no ordinary missing-persons case. When the body turns up in an abandoned well, Tracy’s suspicions are confirmed. Estranged from her family, the victim had balked at an arranged marriage and had planned to attend graduate school. But someone cut her dreams short. When a woman's body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD's Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?

Before you choose a thriller novel, it can help to narrow down exactly the type of book that interests you. Do you prefer a book that goes in-depth into police work, or do you like a story told from the criminal’s perspective? There are crime thrillers, disaster thrillers, legal thrillers, medical thrillers, spy thrillers and more. As you begin to narrow the list of subgenres you enjoy most, the list of books to add to your to-read pile will shrink considerably. Totally alone, but with strength of purpose, Tracy is accepted into the Washington State police academy with the express goal of eventually becoming a Seattle homicide detective. Now, twenty years after Sarah’s disappearance, Tracy has achieved that goal. In fact, she achieved it six years ago. I think this book dabbled in many sub-genres of crime fiction adding a dab of legal thriller, a smidgen of psychological thriller, a slice of whodunit mystery and a sprinkle of suspense, blending them all together to create a top notch thriller. The dialogue is smart and believable, and I appreciated the portrayal of a lead female character as being both smart and sensitive, and thankfully level headed and grounded. I’m not sure how she felt about the whole sordid mess once all was said and done, and I wonder if she feels the same way I do, but I do think she will be able to live her life fully now that she knows the whole truth about Sarah and what really happened to her. I think the narration was good on this well-written police procedural story. I have no negative things to say in that regard.

In the years since her sister disappeared, Tracy quits her teaching job, moved to Seattle, and became a homicide detective, while working on her sister’s case whenever possible. Tracy never bought into the theory that the man accused of killing her sister was guilty. Now that Sarah’s body has been found, Tracy hires her childhood friend, Dan, to help her prove the wrong man was convicted. But, the local sheriff pulls out all the stops to make sure a new trial never takes place. Was there a conspiracy? Who really killed Sarah and how will Tracy manage to prove it? The Hook - My Sister’s Grave has been on my TBR list for a long time. The price was right and so was my mood.

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