The picturesque town of Cedar Grove in Washington’s Cascade mountains was always a place of happiness and sanctuary for Tracy. She grew up in a warm and loving environment with her beloved sister Sarah, and her dear mother and father. She hasn’t gone home for twenty years… That is how long it has been since her sister went missing and was presumed murdered. Her father commit suicide not long afterward, and her mother passed away not long after that.
When someone you love dies, and you feel guilty, the self- recrimination haunts you every day. Such is the life of Tracy Crosswhite, a Seattle homicide detective. Circumstances at the time of her sister’s disappearance dictated that Sarah was driving Tracy’s truck, and wearing Tracy’s hat… Surely whatever horrible circumstance befell Sarah was intended for Tracy…
Edmund House was imprisoned for Sarah’s murder, even though her body was never found. Tracy was always suspicious of the evidence that led to his arrest and incarceration. Even though House was a convicted felon, the facts just didn’t add up. This is even more evident when, at long last, her sister’s remains are discovered. Now DNA and other evidence seems to validate Tracy’s suspicions. When she returns home after twenty years to the small town of Cedar Grove to attend Sarah’s funeral she meets up with an old childhood friend, who is now a lawyer. Tracy enlists Dan’s help to go over the files on Sarah’s case that she has amassed over the past two decades. He agrees that the evidence is suspect and that he will act on behalf of Edmund House to appeal his conviction. The ultimate goal being to reopen Sarah’s case.
Luckily they procure an honest and ethical judge to try the case. Meyers is a man who will be fair and is willing to make a tough call even if the case draws lots of media attention.
But how can the original evidence be tainted? Is Sheriff Roy Calloway hiding something? Surely not – he was a dear friend of Tracy’s father and knew both sisters as children. Why then do the facts of the case just not add up? The town turns out for the court appeal. Everyone who knew the Crosswhite family seems invested in the outcome.
Along the way, Tracy and Dan give in to their growing attraction for each other. The relationship is complicated for myriad reasons. Her job, the fact that they live in different places, the fact that he has two massive dogs and she has a cat named Roger… Tracy realizes that Dan is what she needs in life, a good man who hides his hurt with humor.
“My sister’s grave” is part mystery, part legal thriller, and part romantic suspense. Readers who appreciate any of these genres should enjoy this novel. The setting of the northern Cascades in winter was eloquently described and the narrative was fast -paced. The plot contains twists that will capture the attention of the reader, though I’ll admit I did figure out a few of the plot’s mysteries before they were revealed. The courtroom scenes were believable and well rendered – due, I’m sure, to the fact that the author is also a lawyer.
Thanks to Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of the novel in exchange for this review.
Robert Dugoni is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of the Tracy Crosswhite Series: My Sister’s Grave, Her Final Breath (September 2015) and A Clearing in the Woods (May 2016). He is also the author of the critically acclaimed, David Sloane series. Dugoni has twice been nominated for the Harper Lee Award for Legal Fiction, was a 2015 International Thriller Writer’s finalist for thriller of the year, and the 2015 winner of the Nancy Pearl Award for Fiction. His books are sold world-wide in more than 20 countries and have been translated into a dozen languages including French, German, Italian and Spanish.