Lieutenant Samantha (Sam) Holland and her homicide team’s latest case is a house fire in an affluent area of the Washington, D. C. area where two people died and it wasn’t an accident. More ominously, they appear to be the owners and their 5-year old twins are missing. Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant Tommy (Gonzo) Gonzales is battling his own demons, spiraling downward following the murder of his former partner, A. J. Arnold, right before his eyes. His home life is in shambles and now it’s starting to affect the job. All this as they all prepare for Sam’s partner, Freddie Cruz’ approaching wedding.
This was a challenging case I found really interesting as it involved classic police procedurals, taking unusual and unpredictable turns as the homicide team investigated emerging clues. The one thing I loved about it was how they truly operated as a team under Sam’s focused leadership despite the many distractions. The mystery is my first love and this one had all the elements to make it intriguing but heartbreaking.
Another aspect of the series that keeps me coming back is the depth of character development, not only of the main characters but the host of secondary ones that enrich the stories. Gonzo’s story was chillingly realistic and gut wrenching; no corners cut, no glamorizing. I wouldn’t recommend reading these out of order (though you can) as you would miss out on how backstories are often reintroduced when they continue and become relevant again. It all just makes for a more satisfying reading experience.
I switched to the audio editions for this series after book #3 and am loving it! Eva Kaminski does a great job managing a large cast of characters and giving voice definition to some of the more prominent ones (notably Sam and Freddie) with distinction. I love this series and this story in particular. There are some stunning developments with far reaching implications. You’ll have to listen (or read) for yourself to discover the details without my spoilage. The author states in her acknowledgment that there is no end in sight for this series and I’m extremely happy about that, especially if they’re as interesting as this one and those that came before.
- Release Date: November 27, 2018
- Series: Fatal #13
- Narrator: Eva Kaminski
- Audio Length: 10 hours, 40 minutes
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(I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)