Not far from my house is a small bookshop called The Book Tree. I’ve noticed on each visit that this little shop has a really good selection of mysteries. A couple months ago, I popped over to Book Tree, asked the owner for some recommendations, and walked away with My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni. I’d never heard of Dugoni, although he is local to the Seattle area, and has written more than a dozen books. Perhaps for that reason, I let My Sister’s Grave languish on the shelf for many weeks before finally cracking the spine.
Tracy Crosswhite is a detective with the Seattle police department who pours all her spare energy into investigating the disappearance of her sister. When her sister’s body is found after 20 years, buried under a tree in a spot of land that was thoroughly searched at the time of the disappearance, Tracy returns to her home town of Cedar Grove, WA to bury her sister, and uncover the grim truth behind her sister’s death. Back in Cedar Grove, she reunites with a childhood friend, Dan O’Leary, who is a criminal-defense lawyer. Together, Dan and Tracy dig through the past and resurrect secrets long buried.
This is one of those books that will be tricky for me to review because I don’t want to give anything away. I did not predict the end; not even a single detail. With most books, I guess at least a partial ending. This one, was a true mystery. Yet, when the ending did come, it made so much sense. I love when the resolution of a mystery is unpredictable and yet completely plausible. This book is so believable. It’s suspenseful, without going over-the-top.
You will be fully hooked by the end of chapter 3 (the chapters are short, so that’s only about 12 short pages into the story). If you’re not into it by the end of chapter 3, this book probably isn’t for you. I feel confident you’ll be into it.
I’m hard-pressed to find any fault with this book. There was one scene between Tracy and Dan that is a bit romantically clichéd, in which he teaches her to putt a golf ball, and of course, wraps his arms around her causing her to get a bit twitterpated. Though, I’m really grasping at straws criticizing that one small part of the story. Yes, it’s a bit of a cliché, but not gratuitous.
I think my favorite part of the book was the ending. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that Tracy is badass. It is fun to read a book where the female protagonist kicks butt and takes names.
I don’t know why I have not heard of Robert Dugoni before now. I don’t read a ton of the Suspense/Thriller genre, so maybe that explains it. The owner of Book Tree assured me that Dugoni’s other books are just as engrossing. Although My Sister’s Grave resolves as a stand-alone book, there are more novels featuring Tracy Crosswhite. Additionally, he has another series, and a handful of stand-alone novels. I can’t wait to read Dugoni’s other books, and I highly recommend you check them out, too.