Tuesday, October 20, 2020

In Her Tracks (#8 of 8 Tracy Crosswhite series) by Robert Dugoni

In Her Tracks (Tracy Crosswhite, #8)

In Her Tracks by Robert Dugoni

ISBN-10 : 1542008379 Paperback $15
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (April 27, 2021), 384 pages. 
Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

The blurb:  What family secrets are behind two disappearances? Seattle detective Tracy Crosswhite is determined to uncover the truth in the latest installment of New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni’s heart-stopping series.
Returning from an extended leave in her hometown of Cedar Grove, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself reassigned to the Seattle PD’s cold case unit. As the protective mother of an infant daughter, Tracy is immediately drawn to her first file: the abduction of a five-year-old girl whose parents, embattled in a poisonous divorce, were once prime suspects.
While reconstructing the days leading up to the girl’s disappearance, Tracy is brought into an active investigation with former partner Kinsington Rowe. A young woman has vanished on an isolated jogging trail in North Seattle. Divided between two critical cases, Tracy has little to go on except the treacherous deceptions behind a broken marriage—and now, the secrets hiding behind the closed doors of a deceptively quiet middle-class neighborhood.
To find two missing persons, Tracy will have to follow more than clues, which are both long cold and unsettlingly fresh. Given her own traumatic past, Tracy must also follow her instincts—to whatever dark and dangerous places they may lead.

My review:  I am a huge fan of the Tracy Crosswhite series by Robert Dugoni. As In Her Tracks makes clear,  Detective Tracy Crosswhite worked hard for every promotion and award. No one smoothed her way but she's proven herself many times over and won the respect of her colleagues. She's not free from the intrigue and politics that permeates the workplace. Certainly, her police chief takes great pleasure in making her life difficult.  This latest time is particularly bad. Tracy  returns from a leave of absence to find another woman has been given her slot in Serious Crimes and been assigned to her partner.  Tracy can take a lateral move to Cold Cases where she would work alone and be subject to greater emotional distress or she can retire.  And she's given the day to decide. 
Cold Cases had been managed by one officer and he cared deeply about the victims. He appeals to Tracy's empathy with the victims and their families.  Though Tracy expects that Cold Cases will be difficult emotionally, she takes it on. 
Soon, her old partner asks for her help with an active case -- a young woman has been abducted and might still be alive.  Tracy investigates but under the cover of her cold cases.  As she zeroes in on a suspicious family, she searches for dark secrets and another young woman who went missing.  
Dugoni delivers another suspenseful and satisfying mystery in In Her Tracks. We are drawn into Tracy's struggle but even the antagonists are human.  In Her Tracks gives us a well developed, character driven mystery.  I read straight through the night and am looking forward to finding out what is next in Tracy Crosswhite's life. 
About the Author:  Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York TimesWall Street Journal, and Amazon bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series, which has sold more than six million books worldwide; the David Sloane series; the Charles Jenkins series; the stand-alone novels The 7th CanonDamage Control, and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, for which he won an AudioFile Earphones Award for narration; and the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post best book of the year. He is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Book Award for fiction and has twice won the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel. He is a two-time finalist for the International Thriller Awards and a finalist for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, the Silver Falchion Award for mystery, and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards. His books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than two dozen languages. Visit his website at www.robertdugonibooks.com.

Prodigal Son (An Orphan X Novel #6 of 6) by Gregg Hurwitz

ISBN-10 : 1250252288  Hardcover $ 27.99
Publisher : Minotaur Books; 1st Edition (January 26, 2021), 432 pages.
Review copy courtesy of Minotaur Books and NetGalley. 

The blurb:  As a boy, Evan Smoak was pulled out of a foster home and trained in an off-the-books operation known as the Orphan Program. He was a government assassin, perhaps the best, known to a few insiders as Orphan X. He eventually broke with the Program and adopted a new nameThe Nowhere Man—and a new mission, helping the most desperate in their times of trouble. But the highest power in the country has made him a tempting offer—in exchange for an unofficial pardon, he must stop his clandestine activities as The Nowhere Man. Now Evan has to do the one thing he’s least equipped to do—live a normal life.
But then he gets a call for help from the one person he never expected. A woman claiming to have given him up for adoption, a woman he never knew—his mother. Her unlikely request: help Andrew Duran—a man whose life has gone off the rails, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, bringing him to the deadly attention of very powerful figures. Now a brutal brother & sister assassination team are after him and with no one to turn to, and no safe place to hide, Evan is Duran’s only option. But when the hidden cabal catches on to what Evan is doing, everything he’s fought for is on the line—including his own life.

My Review:  Even though I've read every Orphan X novel over the past few years,  it took reading Prodigal Son to remind me just how much I missed the character Evan Smoak.  I'm a bit of thriller/mystery fiend and these Orphan X novels are a bit like stepping into a righteous James Bond scenario.  Except in Prodigal Son you peek into just how awful things were for young Evan as an orphan growing up in the system.  When this is juxtaposed against his incredible physical and mental skills and his sense of justice, it is hard to stop reading. 

In this last installment, Evan has won a pardon which can be revoked if he undertakes to save another person as Nowhere man.  Evan has started to live a normal life - meeting people, relaxing, appreciating his gorgeous condo, etc. Just as he was starting to relax he gets a call for help from someone claiming to be his birth mother. She asks him to step back out as Nowhere Man and to save someone in a dire situation.  The victim has had all sorts of bad luck but has been trying to do right by his young daughter.  Incurred all sorts of debt but is up to date on his child support, etc. As Evan weighs the consequences of helping versus walking away, we can't help but be so upset at the unfairness of life and drawn into the story.

I should have been working on my taxes, tidying up our home, getting ready for our move, etc. but all I wanted to do was read Prodigal Son.  So, if you're looking for a satisfying escape - grab this book. If you have tons of things you need to get done ASAP, you'll be hard pressed to put this book down.

About the Author:  GREGG HURWITZ is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the #1 international bestseller Orphan X, the first in a series of thrillers featuring Evan Smoak. He has also written young adult novels: The Rains and its sequel, The Last Chance. Hurwitz's books have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been translated into twenty-eight languages.

Hurwitz is also a New York Times bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (WolverineThe Punisher) and DC (Batman). Additionally, he has written screenplays for many major studios and written, developed, and produced television for various networks.

Hurwitz resides in Los Angeles with two Rhodesian ridgebacks.