A Seattle homicide detective is thrust back into a painfully personal case when the remains of her 20-years-vanished younger sister are uncovered in a shallow grave near Cedar Grove, the Washington mountain town where they grew up.
Forty-two-year-old Tracy Crosswhite has long felt responsible for what happened the night her goofy, fun-loving sister, Sarah, disappeared. Former lawyer Dugoni (The Conviction, 2012, etc.) retells the events of that evening in flashback, recounting how, upon leaving a shooting championship, Tracy asked Sarah to drive her truck back to Cedar Grove during a storm so Tracy and her boyfriend could make it to their romantic dinner reservation. The next morning, the empty truck was discovered on a county road with Sarah nowhere to be found, and her disappearance turned both the Crosswhite family and the town itself upside down. As Tracy's engagement fell apart and her parents lost themselves to grief, Tracy found herself doubting the legality of the trial that eventually put local oddball Edmund House in prison for Sarah's apparent murder. Now, with the fresh evidence of her sister's remains in her arsenal, Tracy seizes the opportunity to reinvestigate Sarah's fate—and the possible conspiracy she believes led a man to get convicted for a crime he didn't commit. The majority of the book centers on Tracy's quest to uncover the truth and secure a new trial for House. Though the book is well-written and its classic premise is sure to absorb legal-thriller fans, it grows a bit plodding at times, with too many pages dedicated to House's retrial.
Though the pace lags at times, the characters are richly detailed and true to life, and the ending is sure to please fans.