Seattle PD Detective Tracy Crosswhite’s third case takes her back 40 years to a crime everyone concerned keeps telling her isn’t a crime at all.
It’s no wonder that Tracy would be willing to take her days off reopening the apparent suicide of Stoneridge High senior Kimi Kanasket, whose father, Earl, was a Yakama elder, on the eve of the football game that put the Stoneridge football team, the Red Raiders, on the map back in 1976. The present-day case she’s been assigned, the shooting of Tim Collins, has elicited two confessions, one by Angela Collins, the wife who was divorcing him, the other by their son, Connor, 17. Since Angela’s retained her father, ultrasharp defense attorney Atticus Berkshire, as her counsel, the case promises to be a headache. So Tracy’s highly receptive to her police academy classmate Jenny Almond’s request that she do one last favor for Buzz Almond, the father Jenny just buried: look once more into the first big case he handled as a Klickitat County deputy sheriff. The evidence indicates that Kimi Kanasket threw herself off a hill into the river below following her breakup with Tommy Moore. But Buzz had never been happy about the case. And as Tracy, with zero encouragement from her boss, takes time to review the evidence herself, she sees that Buzz had been remarkably conscientious about collecting evidence 40 years ago—and that some crucial pieces of that evidence have vanished, leaving Tracy wondering which Stoneridge locals might be covering up the truth, and why. It’s pretty obvious where this is all going, and when Tracy arrives at the unpleasant truth, more readers will be relieved or sad than surprised.
Back in the present, the recent killing is wrapped up equally predictably but a lot more quickly, having led fans of this heartfelt series (Her Final Breath, 2015, etc.) through a long slog alongside the heroine with little to show for the effort.