Traces of Guilt (Evie Blackwell Cold Case #1)
A Riveting Cold-Case Mystery from Dee Henderson Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police Detective . . . mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job. Gabriel Thane is a lifetime resident of Carin County and now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he's sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have. . . . When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it's to help launch a new task force dedicated to reexamining unsolved crimes across the state. Spearheading this trial run, Evie will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she reexamines old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly to a third cold case. Evie's determined to solve the cases before she leaves Carin County, and Sheriff Thane, along with his family, will be key to those answers.

Traces of Guilt (Evie Blackwell Cold Case #1) Details

TitleTraces of Guilt (Evie Blackwell Cold Case #1)
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseMay 3rd, 2016
PublisherBethany House Publishers
ISBN0764218875
ISBN-139780764218873
Number of pages400 pages
Rating
GenreChristian Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Christian, Fiction, Romance

Traces of Guilt (Evie Blackwell Cold Case #1) Review

  • Madison
    January 20, 2016
    Ten billion stars out of five (because one billion stars just wouldn't be enough). I'm always ecstatic when I start a new Dee Henderson book, but also a little apprehensive because how can she possibly continue to improve on what is already out-of-the-park brilliance. How can you improve perfection? Well, I don't know how, but Dee Henderson obviously does because her books just keep getting better and better. And Traces of Guilt is simply amazing. The world Henderson creates is completely absorb Ten billion stars out of five (because one billion stars just wouldn't be enough). I'm always ecstatic when I start a new Dee Henderson book, but also a little apprehensive because how can she possibly continue to improve on what is already out-of-the-park brilliance. How can you improve perfection? Well, I don't know how, but Dee Henderson obviously does because her books just keep getting better and better. And Traces of Guilt is simply amazing. The world Henderson creates is completely absorbing. I love getting to know the characters. I love the way crimes are worked, the nitty-gritty details, the long hours, the pain and emotional toll. And I love the humour and family and faith that is mixed into the serious topics. I wanted to savour this story, wanted to know all the answers, wanted to see the journeys of each of the characters and wanted to read this book every moment that I could. Evie Blackwell and Gabriel Thane are our main characters. Evie is starting work with the new cold case task force and is using her vacation time to get started on two cold cases in Carin County, Illinois. Gabriel is Sheriff of Carin County and works with Evie on the cold cases that have rocked their community. Ann Falcon (from Full Disclosure) brings these two together, but it quickly becomes obvious that there is more at stake than two isolated cold cases. Ann and her husband Paul Falcon play a fairly large role in this story, as do Gabriel's brothers Josh and Will, and their parents. A chapter from Josh's perspective opens the book, and there are follow-up chapters from him, Ann, Will and even Grace and Karen, two women who also play important parts in the story and unfolding mysteries. These chapters are spread in between the majority of the sections that are from Gabriel and Evie. As a result, we get a great insight into all the characters, particularly the new ones. There are also mentions of a whole range of favourite characters, from the Bishops to Quinn and Lisa. I love Dee Henderson's heroes. Solid and steady, these men are men of faith and justice. Her heroines are equally impressive in their capacity and strength. There are some shattering reveals in this book. The cases are very personal to the characters and seeing their distress is heartbreaking. There are a number of mysteries in this book, some of which are solved more easily than others, but each is the perfect blend of intrigue, emotion and case details. There is a lovely mix of romance in this story, despite the cases being the focus of the book. There are the continuation of old romances, Ann and Paul's for example, that are a delight to read as continuing love stories. There are a few insights into ongoing romances, take Will Thane and his love interest Karen, who each get a chapter and have a few secrets of their own. And then there are the romances that are just beginning. Gabriel and Evie first meet in this book and they have a connection but if there is to be a continuing story it will progress in future books. This book has all the makings of a new series. And yet, I could also see it being a standalone, with tie-ins to future but separate books, much like how Full Disclosure, Unspoken and Taken all have various mentions and connections in this book but have distinct story lines. Personally, I would love to continue Evie's story, see her uncover more cold cases and work on the new cold case task force and I would really, really love more of the Thane brothers. But whatever Dee Henderson writes next I'm sure it will be every bit as wonderful, intriguing and perfect as Traces of Guilt.The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Find more reviews on my blog Madison's Library.
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  • Lynn Spencer
    June 19, 2016
    This book was a wonderful thrill ride! The main character, Evie Blackwell, has come to a small Illinois town to launch a statewide cold crimes task force. She is charged with looking at two unsolved crimes that have lingered in Carin County's memory for many years - the disappearance of a tourist couple's young daughter from their hotel and the disappearance of a local sheriff's deputy and his entire family.As she gets into her detective work, Evie works closely with local sheriff Gabriel Thane. This book was a wonderful thrill ride! The main character, Evie Blackwell, has come to a small Illinois town to launch a statewide cold crimes task force. She is charged with looking at two unsolved crimes that have lingered in Carin County's memory for many years - the disappearance of a tourist couple's young daughter from their hotel and the disappearance of a local sheriff's deputy and his entire family.As she gets into her detective work, Evie works closely with local sheriff Gabriel Thane. The two quickly fall into a good working relationship and there are some clear hints of attraction from the beginning. However, this book is definitely more about the mysteries and the relationships between Evie, Gabriel, and their closest family and friend rather than simply an Evie-Gabriel story. And it works. I get the sense that Evie and Gabriel's story is one that will unfold as a larger story arc throughout the series.I liked all of the main characters in this book, and I loved the plot action. Even though it's not high action, thrill-a-minute kind of stuff, watching Evie and Gabriel chase leads and piece together what had happened to their missing persons kept me highly engaged with the book. I already can't wait for the next book in the series!
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  • Cara Putman
    February 24, 2016
    This book is another complex mystery going in several directions. Like her last book, this one does not have a complete romance. There are romantic threads, but the focus is on the community of characters and solving the cold cases. Those who have read prior books will enjoy seeing some of those characters come back, while still being wrapped in a story filled with wonderful new characters. I enjoyed it!
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  • Aerykah
    December 14, 2016
    I would almost give this book 3 stars because I did enjoy the mysteries of the cold cases. However... that's about the only thing I enjoyed about it.Though there are some romantic elements in the story, I would definitely not consider it a romantic mystery novel. But I actually rather liked that about it. Even I, who like romantic books, find it rather nice to read a non-romantic mystery occasionally because it allows the focus to be more on the mystery elements and the process of solving the ca I would almost give this book 3 stars because I did enjoy the mysteries of the cold cases. However... that's about the only thing I enjoyed about it.Though there are some romantic elements in the story, I would definitely not consider it a romantic mystery novel. But I actually rather liked that about it. Even I, who like romantic books, find it rather nice to read a non-romantic mystery occasionally because it allows the focus to be more on the mystery elements and the process of solving the cases.Some reviewers have mentioned how "heavy" of a read this is. That is nothing but the truth. There are some very difficult topics covered in this story (view spoiler)[namely, pedophilia and child molestation-- though, neither is discussed very in depth (hide spoiler)]. That being the case, this book definitely has it's sad, even rather depressing, parts. I can handle that, though (at least, to the extent it was dealt with in this book).What did I dislike? There were a few things, actually. At the top of my list, is the dialogue. There is a lot of it-- a lot. And so much of it felt stiff and unrealistic and..... and just so very fake. I simply found it unbelievable how many of the conversations went. I have never heard anyone converse the way most of the characters in this story do. They're all so blatantly honest and straightforward and factual and..... Does anyone ever actually talk like that?! Anyway, that nearly drove me crazy.Unfortunately, I think this has become a trend in Dee Henderson's newer books. (Henderson Fans, correct me if I'm wrong about that!)Also, I never felt like I could truly connect with any of the characters. I think this was mostly due to there being so much going on with so many stories combined and pov's from several different characters. I was never able to focus on one character long enough or delve deeply enough into them to get that connection that I wanted. I don't usually have any difficulty with multiple storylines or pov's, but combine that with the rather choppy-feeling of the writing and it's not good. Add to that, the reading style of the narrator (Johanna Parker) and I really started to struggle with finishing this book.The last thing I'll mention is a spoiler-- (view spoiler)[Though each of the cases is solved by the end of the story, there is no justice served. None whatsoever. And because of that, I felt very unsatisfied by the way this book ended. (hide spoiler)]To sum it up:The best part of this book was the process of solving the rather interesting cold cases. I don't require a lot of suspense or thrill in order to enjoy a mystery so I did like this aspect of the story the most. That being said, due to the choppy writing, stilted dialogue, and annoying narrator... I probably would not have finished this book if I hadn't been nearly desperate for something to listen to at work and this was the only audiobook I currently had that I hadn't listened to recently.Will I read the rest of this series? Perhaps. If my library purchases the audiobooks and I'm in need of something to listen to at work, I may go ahead and try the next book. It's not on my to-read list, though.
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  • Debbie
    April 19, 2016
    "Traces of Guilt" is general fiction, not a romantic suspense. Evie is happy as a single woman (by which she means she's happy dating a man who wants to marry her but whom she doesn't intend to marry). This doesn't change, but we don't meet her boyfriend.The task force was looking at a bunch of cold cases, so there's no suspense. They talk about what might have happened and possible leads. They talk about what they did and what they discovered. They think and talk about how they feel very sad an "Traces of Guilt" is general fiction, not a romantic suspense. Evie is happy as a single woman (by which she means she's happy dating a man who wants to marry her but whom she doesn't intend to marry). This doesn't change, but we don't meet her boyfriend.The task force was looking at a bunch of cold cases, so there's no suspense. They talk about what might have happened and possible leads. They talk about what they did and what they discovered. They think and talk about how they feel very sad and how heartbreaking and painful it is to work these cases. We're rarely allowed to be "in on the action" with an actual scene of an interview or finding physical evidence.There were plenty of cases--a missing girl, a missing family, missing parents, two murdered pedophiles, and a woman in hiding from a killer--yet it's not a mystery genre. In two of the missing cases, they know whodunit. It's just a matter of finding the bodies, and they know where to look. There was no justice in those cases, just providing resolution. Gab and Evie also worked the missing family case, which got nowhere and Evie went home. Then, in the last chapter, a new, chance clue allowed Gab to solve the case, and Gab provided Evie (and the reader) with a brief summary of his investigation. We don't even know whodunit exists before this point. Again, no justice. And, for all her work, Evie didn't solve any of the mysteries.Frankly, what we had were six viewpoint characters struggling emotionally with what happened in the past and what they want in the future. That was the focus of the story. The Thane family was nice, but I didn't really connect with the women characters. The Christian element was a few prayers and the fact that they go to church. There was no sex or bad language.I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Leigh
    September 30, 2016
    This book was so much better than I expected. It kept guessing and thinking from the begging to the end.
  • Monica
    April 27, 2016
    Sigh. I miss the Dee Henderson I once knew. I wish we could go back to the interim between True Honor 2011 and Unspoken in 2015 and undo whatever happened to change her writing. I honestly think if she hadn't set the bar so high with The O'Malley's and the Uncommon Heroes books I would really like her new books. There are interesting characters and great story lines, they just don't the have the action they used to and the writing is so stilted, it just doesn't seem real. For instance, do you kn Sigh. I miss the Dee Henderson I once knew. I wish we could go back to the interim between True Honor 2011 and Unspoken in 2015 and undo whatever happened to change her writing. I honestly think if she hadn't set the bar so high with The O'Malley's and the Uncommon Heroes books I would really like her new books. There are interesting characters and great story lines, they just don't the have the action they used to and the writing is so stilted, it just doesn't seem real. For instance, do you know anyone who talks this way? "She's there. As soon as Ann put up that photo, I knew she would be." Caleb leaned over to pour more coffee. "Invite Grace to dinner tomorrow, let's start putting comfortable friends around her. I don't want her brooding out there, alone and back in Carin where the memories are the strongest." There's an element of realism there, but not quite, it's just too formal. Comfortable people? Who says that? It's not just that paragraph, I got so hung up on so many. And the relationships are SO unreal and I don't mean the kind we know are fiction, but wish they could still happen. Or fiction so we know this can't happen. More so made to be believable, but they so aren't. Sorry, in my world no guy and girl are that close of friends without something happening. And the spouse is not going to be that comfortable with it. Just radical relationships. Possible? Maybe. Probable? Nope. Don't get me wrong, The O'Malley's were not real either, 7 orphans who grow up remarkably well adjusted in a orphanage and make their own family? We know that is fiction from the outset and take it as such. There is just something about her writing now that almost seems.....autobiographical, maybe? Like we are supposed to believe these people really exist out there in the world. If they do, they aren't people I want to hang with. I'll go hang with The O'Malley's. That sounds so harsh. I used to be one of Dee Henderson't biggest supporters and recommended her to everyone. Now, I'm guess I'm just disappointed.
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  • Prairie Sky Book Reviews
    November 26, 2016
    Dee Henderson is the popular and award-winning author of many bestselling series, but honestly, after reading her latest novel, I don’t see what all the hype for her writing is about. “Traces of Guilt: An Evie Blackwell Cold Case”, was published by Bethany House late in 2016. It is presumably the first of a new series, but is somehow connected to many of Henderson’s previous books as well. In any case, I was excited to dive into what I hoped would be a fascinating mystery filled with twists and Dee Henderson is the popular and award-winning author of many bestselling series, but honestly, after reading her latest novel, I don’t see what all the hype for her writing is about. “Traces of Guilt: An Evie Blackwell Cold Case”, was published by Bethany House late in 2016. It is presumably the first of a new series, but is somehow connected to many of Henderson’s previous books as well. In any case, I was excited to dive into what I hoped would be a fascinating mystery filled with twists and turns as a years-old mystery is finally solved. That’s what a cold case mystery novel is, right? Unfortunately, not so much...“Traces of Guilt” was disappointing for several primary reasons.#1. The dialogue! Constant conversing caused me to close the book in disgust numerous times. The characters talked and talked and talked, but rarely in realistic-sounding conversations. The majority of the story, including character development and mystery solving, was revealed through dialogue. It was truly annoying. #2. The mystery element was unsatisfactory. There were too many cold case mysteries vying for the reader’s attention, yet several of them were solved before they even really had a chance to be opened. It was strange. Even stranger was the fact that a couple of the mysteries were not solved at all, and the primary case was extremely anticlimactic. #3. It was depressing. “Traces of Guilt” was no lift-your-spirits, justice-is-found, the-families-finally-have-closure story. No, it was more like a haunting walk through the past, which happened to be filled with numerous, ugly, troubling secrets. The darkness of this book often overshadowed everything else, and was perhaps the biggest reason for my dislike. #4. It was boring. I had to strive not to fall asleep! In a book labelled as Romantic Suspense, wouldn’t you expect a little, say, romance and suspense? Well, “Traces of Guilt” had very little of either. It was more focused on introspection, mostly through dialogue (see Reason #1).As is probably crystal clear by now, I had very little patience for the first book in the “Evie Blackwell Cold Case” series, and do not plan on reading the next title. If you are an ardent fan of Dee Henderson who reads and enjoys each one of her books, perhaps you will find this one to your liking. But if you aren’t an ardent fan, well, I don’t recommend it... There are so many other Christian Romantic Suspense novels available that are exponentially better. “Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”
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  • Denise Hershberger (100 Pages per Hour)
    December 23, 2015
    You know a book deserves five stars when you immediately want to re-read the entire 400 pages! This book was amazing! As I’ve come to love, Henderson wrote with such attention to detail that the only things left to my imagination were the things she wanted left to my imagination. I actually felt like I had been transported to Carin County, Illinois where the Thane family resides. And when the characters suffered physical and emotional pain I felt my own body tense up. I was literally holding my You know a book deserves five stars when you immediately want to re-read the entire 400 pages! This book was amazing! As I’ve come to love, Henderson wrote with such attention to detail that the only things left to my imagination were the things she wanted left to my imagination. I actually felt like I had been transported to Carin County, Illinois where the Thane family resides. And when the characters suffered physical and emotional pain I felt my own body tense up. I was literally holding my breath through many pages of this book waiting to find answers to the many questions brought up by reexamining the cold cases. If you ever watched the television show Cold Case you’ll have a really good idea what I mean. And I loved that show!Henderson’s ability to weave characters from all of her older books into this recent release is astounding. I lost count of how many of my old friends were in this book. It was lovely to reunite with so many of them. But I also loved getting to know the Thane family. Each of the sons is quite unique and the parents have so many wonderful qualities and have raised their boys so well. Evie Blackwell is amazing too. Her ability to compartmentalize and leave the case at the office is unbelievable. I wish I had that skill to leave work at work! Just like all of Henderson’s books Traces of Guilt is full of characters that pray regularly, study the scriptures, and truly rely on God in the good times and bad. I love how her books point me toward God and cause me to long for a deeper relationship with Him.Traces of Guilt has romance but a lot of it is different than the falling in love romance that so many Christian Fiction books have. Much of it is between couples married for a while learning to do life with each other, be there for each other, and support each other. I loved the marriages in this book because they truly focus on the commitment of sharing your life with your husband or wife. As I mentioned before there were many times I held my breath reading this book. There was so much to discover in the cold cases that at times I could hardly handle the suspense. And I never did figure out any of the mystery and that always makes for a great read. Henderson is the only author that ever gets me that deeply involved in the characters and storyline of a book.I received a free advanced copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Rachel
    April 25, 2016
    Dee Henderson is such an experienced and engaging writer. I was really looking forward to reading this book and it did not disappoint! There are many dynamics and threads running through this book and also characters and mentions of characters from previous books. So even though this can be read as a stand alone and, I believe, is the start of a new series, it does help if you are familiar with and have read her previous books (especially the more recent ones).I enjoyed getting to know the Thane Dee Henderson is such an experienced and engaging writer. I was really looking forward to reading this book and it did not disappoint! There are many dynamics and threads running through this book and also characters and mentions of characters from previous books. So even though this can be read as a stand alone and, I believe, is the start of a new series, it does help if you are familiar with and have read her previous books (especially the more recent ones).I enjoyed getting to know the Thane brothers. Each one had their own personality and situations in life. You get a look into each one in this small town story - enough to get invested and hope to hear more about them in the future books! I think I probably liked Gabriel the best. He seemed to have the most character of the three. Josh is quieter and more in the background and Will is a little on the solemn side due to his stint in the military. Although Will's reaction to Karen's past is probably the most romantic part of the story. :)Like I said, there were several threads running through this book. Not only are you introduced to Evie, who is working 2 cold cases (with the help of Ann Falcon - a character from other Dee Henderson books) that end up running into a couple of other crimes, you also get introduced to Karen and her past. I'm not really sure that whole thing with Karen's past even fit in this book except to just give Will a romantic interest. Maybe it will be featured in a future book but I just didn't think it fit here. Then there is Grace, whose heartbreaking past is just being made known to the Thane family, who are all stricken by what they learn. Her story also includes a cold case that will affect the lives of the Thanes.This book is a well written police procedural with a solid mystery that was intriguing to follow. Romantic suspense it was not. More of a family drama. I can only hope that the small small sparks of attraction between Gabriel and Evie will move forward in the next book. :D Also, this is not a light story. The cold cases and mysteries bring to light sexual abuse and murder as well as mention of a violent stalker and dead bodies. A clean read with no details just the facts of the cases. Reminded me of watching a cop TV show or movie.*Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions stated are my own.*
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  • eatbookseatworlds
    April 19, 2016
    This is yet another well-written crime investigation novel by the dependable Dee Henderson. This introduction to her new series has her tried and true formula at play: a group of like-minded 30-and-40-somethings that are connected by mutual friends, similar professions, and tragedy. Evie Blackwell seems like she will be an interesting character, but she really didn't get much playing time here; much of this story actually involves side characters Grace and Josh. Actually, that probably is my mai This is yet another well-written crime investigation novel by the dependable Dee Henderson. This introduction to her new series has her tried and true formula at play: a group of like-minded 30-and-40-somethings that are connected by mutual friends, similar professions, and tragedy. Evie Blackwell seems like she will be an interesting character, but she really didn't get much playing time here; much of this story actually involves side characters Grace and Josh. Actually, that probably is my main complaint: the book tries for an ensemble, but because of this I never really felt truly invested or immersed in any of the characters and their back stories. Even Grace's story barely skates beyond the surface of the tragedy and her resulting emotional and psychological fallout (the trauma is more discussed by her friends, rather than shown). It gave me as a reader the sense that Henderson is holding her cards close to the chest, which is fine, until the book ends with not much of a reveal at all. I was left still waiting to feel that connection. Another personal pet peeve: all of the characters share a very similar voice. It's as though they are all related to each other and share all of the same communication styles, idioms, conversational styles and basic personalities. I'd love to "hear" a unique character every once in awhile. * A review copy was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *
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  • Kristine Morgan
    February 27, 2016
    I finished Traces Of Guilt over a week ago, but have been struggling with writing this review. Dee Henderson is one of my all time favorite, go to authors. However I really could not get into this book. The premise was good, but there was no edge of the seat, I have to know what happens next storyline. Perhaps because this book deals with cold cases, where the action is in the past. Perhaps this is going to be Dee's new style as there are hints that Evie Blackwell will be in future novels. I lo I finished Traces Of Guilt over a week ago, but have been struggling with writing this review. Dee Henderson is one of my all time favorite, go to authors. However I really could not get into this book. The premise was good, but there was no edge of the seat, I have to know what happens next storyline. Perhaps because this book deals with cold cases, where the action is in the past. Perhaps this is going to be Dee's new style as there are hints that Evie Blackwell will be in future novels. I loved the fact that Dee headed up each chapter with the name of who's point of view the chapter was written about, but unfortunately the writing seemed a bit choppy to me. Perhaps this was because I read an ARC and the final text will smooth things out. I will be purchasing a copy when it comes up for sale and will compare the two copies.I was given this book by Netgalley.com for review purposes.
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  • Chris
    May 12, 2016
    Different but what a neat story. Absolutely shows you how to solve a cold case. Shows you many awful things can happen but shows how to overcome things too. Many familiar people are back to and some new ones too.Buy this book, its a great read
  • Joanie Bruce
    February 25, 2017
    Dee Henderson is one of my favorite authors, and this book only confirms that statement. It was fast-paced and interesting, and I loved reading it.Spoiler alert:What I liked: As in all of her books, Dee Henderson’s attention to detail in her research and the way she handles the logical steps of the investigative process is awesome. The brainstorming of the characters while trying to solve several cold case files is outstanding and moved the story along quickly. I also love the way the characters Dee Henderson is one of my favorite authors, and this book only confirms that statement. It was fast-paced and interesting, and I loved reading it.Spoiler alert:What I liked: As in all of her books, Dee Henderson’s attention to detail in her research and the way she handles the logical steps of the investigative process is awesome. The brainstorming of the characters while trying to solve several cold case files is outstanding and moved the story along quickly. I also love the way the characters interact with each other. Even though Evie Blackwell and Gabriel Thane meet for the first time in the book, they treat each other as if they were old friends. This is a strong and pleasing trait in all of Ms. Henderson’s novels…the easy interaction between characters. I also liked the twist at the end of the book. One of the cold cases the investigative team was trying to resolve seemed to be unsolvable, but at the end of the story, all the loose ends of every case tied up neatly.What I didn’t like: Even though the last cold case file was finally solved, there was a gap between when Evie packed up her research material for that case to go home and when the case was finally solved. During those few pages, I found myself skimming uninteresting paragraphs to get back to the main plot. Over all, I give this book five stars. It was a fantastic story, and even though there was no heart-pounding suspense in the story, the combination of a motivating plot, believable characters, and an all-around good story made it a fun book to read. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great book!
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  • Beth
    September 24, 2016
    Another Dee Henderson novel that has me feeling ambivalent: some parts I really enjoyed but other aspects just left me cold, which is a shame!As always, Dee's writing drew me in quickly and it was very hard to not have the time to read it all in one go! I do enjoy her descriptions, it's something she does very well. The concept was interesting- tackling cold cases - as all the crimes have been committed already so there was no suspense in that respect. However, the build up of potential leads, f Another Dee Henderson novel that has me feeling ambivalent: some parts I really enjoyed but other aspects just left me cold, which is a shame!As always, Dee's writing drew me in quickly and it was very hard to not have the time to read it all in one go! I do enjoy her descriptions, it's something she does very well. The concept was interesting- tackling cold cases - as all the crimes have been committed already so there was no suspense in that respect. However, the build up of potential leads, finding previously unseen links, putting together the full pictures of events, new information coming to light and changing everything again made for great reading!There's various points of action and a good aura of mystery. It's quite a dark book really, a lot of trauma and tragedy, I found it quite emotionally hard-hitting.But I did run into problems.First of all, I felt like there was perhaps too much going on with 3 different story lines - yes they overlap but jumping back and forth between them felt a jarring sometimes and it was hard to keep the characters from merging in my head or maintain interest for all of them too.I've also found Dee's approach to relationships in her recent books to be... well, a bit odd. And this book is no exception.For example, Ann's review of her marriage: "It's got nice benefits". Is that all?Amongst the many discussions about relationships I don't think I ever actually read the word 'love', it was more about how it would be nice to not have to go home to an empty house, or finding someone who you could relax with when you needed a break from work, something to be classed as successful. It all just seemed very clinical to me. Not to mention Evie - with 3 ex-fiances and a current boyfriend whom she doesn't really seem to have much to do with at all and isn't really sure she wants to have a future with him... Okay then.The Christian/faith aspect to the book was low-key, mostly conveyed through short prayers from various of the characters and a couple of conversations. As far as I can recall, faith and God never featured in the characters' discussions of relationships, future career goals, ambitions etc. I would have appreciated greater spiritual content, which has been present in Dee's previous books, especially given the difficult nature of some of the crimes.So, I'm on the fence! It's good but the book is not without disappointments/unsatisfying moments.
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  • Shirley Corder
    April 29, 2016
    I am a fan of Dee Henderson’s novels, and so I was thrilled for the opportunity to review Trace of Guilt. I enjoyed the story immensely, but it is missing the suspense and clear romances of most of her other books. This is not a bad thing; it is just good if the reader anticipates this. The suspense is more of a speculation as no active crime happens in the story. The romance thread is there, but it is either found in established marriages or it is left hanging, presumably to be continued in one I am a fan of Dee Henderson’s novels, and so I was thrilled for the opportunity to review Trace of Guilt. I enjoyed the story immensely, but it is missing the suspense and clear romances of most of her other books. This is not a bad thing; it is just good if the reader anticipates this. The suspense is more of a speculation as no active crime happens in the story. The romance thread is there, but it is either found in established marriages or it is left hanging, presumably to be continued in one of the sequels.Unlike the majority of Dee’s novels, in Traces of Guilt there is a good deal of “telling” as opposed to “showing”, yet despite that I became absorbed in the story from the beginning and didn’t want to put the book down. I would call it a Christian mystery novel, as the theme revolves around a number of cold cases and who-dun-it and where they hid the bodies.Those who have enjoyed previous books by this author will enjoy meeting up with a number of old friends from previous stories as well as the introduction of a number of new characters. Nevertheless, the book is a stand-alone and it is not necessary to have read previous books by her.The story is complex, and I did at times have to stop to figure out the identity of one of the many characters. Evie Blackwell, the heroine, is an Illinois State Police Detective with a gift for working investigations. She has come to Carin County in Illinois to set up a task force that will concentrate on cold cases. She teams up with Sheriff Gabriel Thane in an attempt to solve a cold case involving a missing six-year old as well as that of a missing family of three. In the process they get involved with two murdered paedophiles, two missing parents, and a woman hiding from a violent killer. I felt there were too many stories in one novel, and so I didn’t get fully into any one of them.I also found the ending disappointing although unexpected. I don’t want to say more for fear of giving it away. Readers who enjoy mystery stories will enjoy Traces of Guilt. I look forward to the next in the series.Traces of Guilt is available for pre-order now and will be released on May 3rd, 2016.I received this book from Bethany Publishers via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Hayden
    May 10, 2016
    2.5 starsI feel that labeling this "An Evie Blackwell Cold Case" might be a bit of a misnomer; Evie is only one of several main characters who all have pretty substantial amounts of time dedicated to them in this novel. That didn't bother me, since I enjoy large casts of characters; it was just different than what I expected. In that same vein, I wouldn't say it was really romantic suspense either, since the main characters themselves were never in danger, and while there were hints of romance, 2.5 starsI feel that labeling this "An Evie Blackwell Cold Case" might be a bit of a misnomer; Evie is only one of several main characters who all have pretty substantial amounts of time dedicated to them in this novel. That didn't bother me, since I enjoy large casts of characters; it was just different than what I expected. In that same vein, I wouldn't say it was really romantic suspense either, since the main characters themselves were never in danger, and while there were hints of romance, there really wasn't much of it. Again- this didn't bother me, although there was a lot more talking and exposition than action, which could drag things out. The mystery was more of a puzzle than anything else, which I loved. That being said, I found the ending rather disappointing. (view spoiler)[The solutions to the trio of cases weren't as elaborate as I'd hoped, and the last one almost seemed completely unrelated to any of the leads they'd had. Maybe that's truer to life, but it just didn't seem very satisfying to me as a reader. (hide spoiler)]The characters were likable, probably a lot like the people you'd wave and say 'hi' to at church or the grocery store (although I felt that it was much easier to get a handle on the male characters and their personalities more than the female ones.) All in all, though, this was a heavy book. Not only because of the particular nature of the murder/missing persons cases, but also because nearly every character had a tragic backstory. Perhaps this was part of the reason the book didn't really win me over, although it kept my attention and I'm sure that fans of Henderson will enjoy the appearances and mentions of some of her characters from other books.I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Rick
    May 16, 2016
    Nobody likes a cold case, nobody except Evie Blackwell that it is, and nobody can work a cold case better than her. Taking some time off for vacation, Evie heads to Carin County to pilot a new task force dealing with cold cases. This time, the cases involve a missing 6-year old girl and a missing family of 3, including a local deputy. Evie arrives in town and sets up in the old Post Office to begin her investigation of these cold cases. Assisted by the Sheriff, Gabriel Thane, she begins to uncov Nobody likes a cold case, nobody except Evie Blackwell that it is, and nobody can work a cold case better than her. Taking some time off for vacation, Evie heads to Carin County to pilot a new task force dealing with cold cases. This time, the cases involve a missing 6-year old girl and a missing family of 3, including a local deputy. Evie arrives in town and sets up in the old Post Office to begin her investigation of these cold cases. Assisted by the Sheriff, Gabriel Thane, she begins to uncover several avenues that were overlooked in the initial investigation. Between the cold cases and other mysteries involving Sheriff Thane’s family, this is one book that will keep you heated up. So get going and BUY THIS BOOK!!I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t been much of a fan of Dee Henderson’s latest novels. Not that there are anything wrong with them, but from my perspective they haven’t been up to the normal level of suspense that her first group of books were. Thankfully, though, this book (and hopefully the whole series) is a throwback to her great suspense novels of the past. We are introduced not only to Evie Blackwell, who appears to be the lead in this new series, but to Sheriff Gabriel Thane and his family. Dee also brings back several characters out of her other books to throw in a bit of familiarity to her long time readers. With all of the moving pieces of this story, you have a book that will keep you turning the page well into the nightIs this a "guy's book"? Between all of the happenings with Evie searching for answers to these cold cases and the obvious additional storylines for additional novels that are set up in this book, this is a sure bet for any guy to pick up and enjoy
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  • Janell R.
    May 26, 2016
    So first off, this book actually follows 3 different storylines with the 3 Thane brothers which *sploiler* aren't exactly related, though there is some overlap between two of them *end of spoiler*. The character development was well done, as I've come to appreciate with this author, and Gabriel was definitely my favorite character.The major storylines are all neatly tied up, however, it does leave you with a minor (at least I considered it minor :-) loose thread at the end, which will hopefully So first off, this book actually follows 3 different storylines with the 3 Thane brothers which *sploiler* aren't exactly related, though there is some overlap between two of them *end of spoiler*. The character development was well done, as I've come to appreciate with this author, and Gabriel was definitely my favorite character.The major storylines are all neatly tied up, however, it does leave you with a minor (at least I considered it minor :-) loose thread at the end, which will hopefully be followed up in an upcoming novel. As someone who really likes Dee Henderson, it didn't disappoint, but I don't recommend it to start off your experience with this author. The spiritual storyline wasn't quite as strong as I prefer, and it just had a slightly different "feel" than many of her previous novels.This was one of the more difficult Dee Henderson books I've read as it deals with the issue of a pedophile, which is just hard for me. It does not go into any details at all, just mentions it as an occurrence and then deals with the emotional trauma that the victim was still dealing with as an adult. However, I do not recommend it for those under the age of 20 or so.Overall, I did enjoy it, and recommend it for those that are familiar with Dee Henderson's style and can appreciate it because of that. I would give it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars for the issues that I mentioned.*Disclaimer: I received this book from Bethany House Publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Sandra Lassiter
    June 13, 2016
    Meh. This didn't fall to the level of some of Dee's later books that made me want to throw something (I'm looking at you, "Undetected"!), but it was still far from the level of the O'Malleys or even Uncommon Heroes series. Too much. That's how I would sum up this book. Just too much going on. Too many mysteries, too many people with tragic back stories--just slightly over-the-top on most things. I realize a good, tragic back story can add a lot to a book, but pretty much EVERY ONE of the female Meh. This didn't fall to the level of some of Dee's later books that made me want to throw something (I'm looking at you, "Undetected"!), but it was still far from the level of the O'Malleys or even Uncommon Heroes series. Too much. That's how I would sum up this book. Just too much going on. Too many mysteries, too many people with tragic back stories--just slightly over-the-top on most things. I realize a good, tragic back story can add a lot to a book, but pretty much EVERY ONE of the female characters have some sort of tragedy either in their past or even slightly ongoing. Add that to the fact that pretty much everything was wrapped up neatly, and one of them felt like it was just rushed to finish the book up, and you get a somewhat disappointing book. I liked Evie okay, and I really enjoyed the three brothers (and I fell more than a little in love with the brothers' parents!!). I'm so over Ann it's ridiculous, though. She is my least favorite character Dee has ever written and now she won't go away!! The "Christian" side of the book is sadly lacking as it has been in several of her later books. Will I read the next book? Probably. I've come to the conclusion that the Dee of old is gone, however, and that is a very sad thing.
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  • Jodie
    April 27, 2016
    I have to be honest, when I first started this book, I wasn't real sure I liked it. The beginning definitely caught my attention, and then it kind of sizzled out and I found myself struggling to keep reading. For me, this was a very different type of suspense than the way most suspense stories are written. At first, I didn't care for it, but it kind of grew on me. Somewhere about 1/3 of the way through, I once again found myself captivated and wanting to know more. I was trying to figure out the I have to be honest, when I first started this book, I wasn't real sure I liked it. The beginning definitely caught my attention, and then it kind of sizzled out and I found myself struggling to keep reading. For me, this was a very different type of suspense than the way most suspense stories are written. At first, I didn't care for it, but it kind of grew on me. Somewhere about 1/3 of the way through, I once again found myself captivated and wanting to know more. I was trying to figure out the mysteries with them. Like I said, this was not the typical suspense story, but rather a story of people trying to figure out old unsolved crimes. I liked knowing all the facts as the characters found them and trying to figure out the mystery with them. Very different and unique for sure! I'm actually very interested in the next one to see if I can "help" them solve the next set of mysteries. Ha!I was graciously provided a free digital copy of this book from Bethany House in partnership with NetGalley to review it. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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  • Heather Quigg
    May 27, 2016
    I love Dee Henderson's writing and books. She always has an interesting plot that you want to figure out and keep reading to do so. I have learned to love the characters and truly enjoyed getting to see more of Ann and Paul. It was fun getting to know Evie and the Thane family and the mysteries they worked through and solved. I'm truly looking forward to reading more of Evie's adventures and puzzles. Overall the story felt complete and the cold cases were solved satisfactorily but my one disappo I love Dee Henderson's writing and books. She always has an interesting plot that you want to figure out and keep reading to do so. I have learned to love the characters and truly enjoyed getting to see more of Ann and Paul. It was fun getting to know Evie and the Thane family and the mysteries they worked through and solved. I'm truly looking forward to reading more of Evie's adventures and puzzles. Overall the story felt complete and the cold cases were solved satisfactorily but my one disappointment was that I wanted a more complete ending for Evie and Gabe. I understand this is a series and am looking forward to the next book but don't want to wait. (I'm being selfish here, but I always love reading Dee's books.) I know it will be worth the wait, but hate how long the wait will be. I truly appreciate Dee's depth of details and her advanced writing skills. The flow is smooth, the characters interesting and the plot interesting. I will be pre-ordering the next book as soon as I see it and can't wait to read it.
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  • Abigail
    November 26, 2016
    3.5. The author can often be a little too heavy on dialogue-as-extended-monologue, so that conversations feel too "talk-y," rather than an actual conversation. I think this is more the case in her later books, of which this is one.
  • Victoria
    May 8, 2016
    LOVED IT !!! It was a cross between Danger in the Shadows & Full Disclosure ....the characters and the story were superbly developed with many twists, turns, and surprises.I sincerely hope this will be just one of a series .... I'd love to see these characters continue to develop!A MUST READ!!!
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  • Sarah
    February 8, 2016
    This review might have a slight bias to it, because I’ve read all of Ms. Henderson’s books, and have loved every one of them! This one is definitely no exception, though I fear I may be running out of new things to say about her books. How do you find new words to describe outstanding writing that carries over from book to book? I can honestly say that Dee’s books have never disappointed me, even when the story didn’t exactly go the way I’d hoped or expected. I can never pick a favorite of her b This review might have a slight bias to it, because I’ve read all of Ms. Henderson’s books, and have loved every one of them! This one is definitely no exception, though I fear I may be running out of new things to say about her books. How do you find new words to describe outstanding writing that carries over from book to book? I can honestly say that Dee’s books have never disappointed me, even when the story didn’t exactly go the way I’d hoped or expected. I can never pick a favorite of her books, beyond whichever I’m currently reading. So at the moment, this one is my favorite, and I’m certain I’ll be reading it over again sometime soon. There is something I find so incredibly captivating about the author’s writing, though I have never been able to pin it down to a single sentence or a specific something. Maybe it’s in the way that she draws me immediately into the story, or maybe how her characters become dear friends that I cheer for and mourn with, or how she weaves the mystery to keep me guessing, or how the book may have 400+ pages, but I breeze through it, then maybe tear up a smidge when I turn the final page. It’s there among the careful details and descriptions that bring every page and scene to life. It’s in the little extras that make her characters burst to brilliant life. It’s in the pieces that she so carefully fits into their places to make the story complete. It’s something that I can’t quite explain, but that I love just the same. The first two words that come to mind when I think to describe Traces of Guilt to someone are “thoughtful” and “complex.” There are several story threads in play all at once, with differing view points and quite a few new characters. It took me a few chapters to get everyone straight and keep them that way, but I loved the layers of the story that were slowly revealed. I also really enjoyed how many of the characters got a voice here and there and that they were clearly defined so I wasn’t left trying to figure out who’s head I was in at any given moment. The thoughtful part comes from the difficult topics that are part of the main focus of the story. Dee is one of the few authors I’ve read that can take such hard things and handle them with the finesse shown in this book. The emotions behind this story are so vivid, that I often felt them along with the characters. Evie Blackwell is one of the main characters and I loved her! This book appears to the first in a series that focuses around her, which I’m super excited for. Evie is a delightful character, funny, but also intensely focused and determined. I enjoyed following her as she attempted to think outside of the box and trace all of the possibilities to solve the cases put before her. That may have actually been one of my favorite things in this book - the mystery and all of the ways the story could go. She kept me guessing and thinking, trying to figure out what had happened, right along with Evie. We also meet several new characters, that I’m hoping with be returning in the books that follow. I’d love to find out what happens with Will and Karen, and Josh and Grace, as well as finding out whether Evie and Gabe ever move beyond good friends. If you’re looking for a quick, light read, I’m not sure I would recommend this book. It carries a weight beyond that and delves into several hard topics and emotions. I found myself laying it aside more than once to simply think and take a breath before being hit with another question to be answered. And I actually loved that about it. I love books that cause me to stop and think, to wonder and chase the question of “what if?” I did really appreciate that though this book is marked to be the first in a series, there aren’t many questions left unanswered, so it can stand alone fabulously. There is a lead-in into the next book, but not a major cliff hanger or something to make me want to yell, “no!” when the final page was turned. Dee did an excellent job of leaving a few questions undone, but also answering the most important ones. I can’t wait to see what the next book holds for Evie, and all of the other dear characters I’ve come to love!I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Nora St Laurent
    May 6, 2016
    Cold cases are brought to the front burner with a new task force headed up by Ann Falcon (who readers have met in other novels by Dee) under the request of the Governor.Ann seeks the help of longtime friends The Thane brothers who live in Carin County where these cases took place. Evie is using her vacation time to dig into a twelve year old case. The first case she digs into is the Florist family disappearance. Sheriff Gabriel Thaine is also a friend of Ann and is recruited to help in reviewing Cold cases are brought to the front burner with a new task force headed up by Ann Falcon (who readers have met in other novels by Dee) under the request of the Governor.Ann seeks the help of longtime friends The Thane brothers who live in Carin County where these cases took place. Evie is using her vacation time to dig into a twelve year old case. The first case she digs into is the Florist family disappearance. Sheriff Gabriel Thaine is also a friend of Ann and is recruited to help in reviewing clues in this case. He helps Evie set up an office where she can work. He likes her perspective. She sees things with fresh eyes; seeing things in a new way. She likes solving real-life puzzles. Gabriel likes how she works and thinks. She says, “You’ve spent twelve years eliminating things…What is the motive? Were the deputy and family a chance encounter or were they targeted?” She was looking for the trigger event. She continues, “The more years pass, the more some people get annoyed with each other, drift apart, find old tensions simmering. The former-friend who will now give him up is a powerful investigative tool… you can find him by a general pattern he leaves in his wake. Violence rarely limits itself to a single type of assault…Who were people afraid of back then? Who are people afraid of today? Sometimes that question points to the right direction.”The novel reminds me of a T.V. show I like to watch Elementary. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson dig through information and crime scenes trying to come up with the very things Evie mentions above. They hang their items up to create an evidence wall (like Evie does in this novel). It helps them see how things are intertwined; maybe discovering connections they hadn’t noticed before. There is not suspense and drama to the story it’s just the facts and a very interesting story line.Dee Henderson writes a fascinating story from an investigators point of view. I found it interesting to read how they go about beginning their search. I felt like I was in the room with Evie and Sheriff Gabriel as they went about brainstorming the facts about the two cold cases. This is not a light read. Some of the evidence and situations they investigate are heart breaking. I liked the relationship aspect of this novel as well. It was fun to see the rich layers this author has created. I was glad to see Ann and Paul Falcon again and meet the Thane brothers, Gabriel, Will, and Joshua. Will is retired military and Joshua owns a bait and tackle shop. This author gives readers an honest look at what investigators do to get to the bottom of things that have gone cold. It sure makes me glad that people like to jump in and try to solve these puzzles. It’s not easy.This author has changed her writing style over the years. Other novels I’ve read by her were nail biting suspenseful. These newer novels are kind a behind the scenes look at the professionals that do the job of seeking out the criminals and in this case trying to find out who done what years ago.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”Nora St. LaurentTBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com
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  • Julia Wilson
    May 22, 2016
    Traces Of Guilt by Dee Henderson is a contemporary Christian mystery and the first in the Evie Blackwell Cold Case series. It was also my first novel by Dee Henderson and it will not be my last.As the series name suggests Traces Of Guilt deals with cold cases. Evie Blackwell is on vacation in a small town but uses the two weeks to work on two cold cases. Dee Henderson is a marvellous writer and has clearly thought out a very intricate plot. I loved the way her main character thought through vari Traces Of Guilt by Dee Henderson is a contemporary Christian mystery and the first in the Evie Blackwell Cold Case series. It was also my first novel by Dee Henderson and it will not be my last.As the series name suggests Traces Of Guilt deals with cold cases. Evie Blackwell is on vacation in a small town but uses the two weeks to work on two cold cases. Dee Henderson is a marvellous writer and has clearly thought out a very intricate plot. I loved the way her main character thought through various scenarios and I got totally caught up in her way of thinking. I tried to predict the outcome but failed miserably.The novel contains many themes but a major one is that of family. Within the story there is the Thane family - Dad Caleb was the sheriff but now his son Gabriel has that title. Brothers Will and Josh work closely with Gabriel when needed. Their mother Marie is a prayer warrior. On many occasions the phrase comes up that the Thanes will get through it together. They are a strong family unit with a firm faith.The Thanes contrast with other characters within the novel who are lost, alone, broken or all three. The Thanes offer love and support, opening up their hearts and homes to the hurting in need of healing. They epitomise the commands to love others and to take care of the widows and orphans.The novel, as it deals with cold cases and crimes, tackles some difficult subjects but with great sensitivity. Victims of past crimes need help in healing. As the arms of the characters figuratively and literally wrap their arms around the victims, the reader is reminded that God is always with us to wrap His arms around us when we are hurt and in need of healing.Will Thane has been an active serviceman dealing with I.E.D's He saw unthinkable horrors and is still trying to process that. His mother wants his healing and prays for him. However she knows that "God understands better than I ever will how to seek and save Will."Within the novel the characters turn to God and prayer. They recognise that in certain situations they are powerless and they need God. At times characters will try to handle what only God can. Caleb gives Gabriel this advice "God can... Let it go son. This isn't yours to carry." There are times when we try to carry what is meant for God alone.I absolutely loved Traces Of Guilt and cannot wait for the second book. Dee Henderson is a marvellous writer. It is so exciting for me to have 'found' a new author and I am looking forward to devouring her books.If you have never read a Dee Henderson book, you are missing out. Buy Traces Of Guilt today.I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.
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  • Kerri Jones
    February 22, 2017
    I can already tell this is a series I'm going to really enjoy. The cases explored are "cold" so there isn't a lot of verifying evidence, working crime scenes or interviewing lots of people but the story is built more around relationships, perceptions and a little mix of the above. I look forward to the next instalment!
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  • Kav
    August 24, 2016
    I think in order to enjoy Dee Henderson's new storytelling style you have to let go of the O'Malleys. Yes cherish them and reread them and display those books on your keeper shelves, but opening a current Henderson novel and expecting an O'Malley type of story isn't doing the author or the reader any favours. No matter what style she's writing in, Henderson is still the best at showing the slow but steady journey towards relationship. At the beginning of Traces of Guilt, Evie and Gabriel don't I think in order to enjoy Dee Henderson's new storytelling style you have to let go of the O'Malleys. Yes cherish them and reread them and display those books on your keeper shelves, but opening a current Henderson novel and expecting an O'Malley type of story isn't doing the author or the reader any favours. No matter what style she's writing in, Henderson is still the best at showing the slow but steady journey towards relationship. At the beginning of Traces of Guilt, Evie and Gabriel don't even know each other -- they have a bang up first meet that develops into a professional respect and then friendship over the course of the story. I like Evie and I like Gabriel and I'd like to see them romantically linked. That hasn't happened in this book but since this is labeled as An Evie Blackwell Cold Case, I'm hoping there's another book which will lead to the resolution I long for. This isn't a nail-biting-edge-of-your-seat kind of read. Instead the author has chosen to highlight the methodical, painstaking process of police work. It's a fascinating look into the thought process of a detective. And when they talk shop it's full of realistic dialogue which isn't always riveting and is sometimes repetitive. In a broader sense, this is a Thane family story. We're introduced to brothers, Josh, Will and Gabe. Given enough meat to whet our appetite for further books. Each brother has a complicated relationship with a woman they are interested in and Ann Turner (a recurring character from previous books) seems to know the secrets of all these women. She's as cryptic as ever -- warning without explaining, throwing out hints until your mind runs in a thousand gruesome directions but rarely coming out with something substantial when you think she should. But that's Ann -- keeper of secrets. And she does reveal all eventually. Not your typical suspense since it highlights methodology rather than action. I can usually read a book in a day -- especially when it's an edge-of-your-seater -- but it took me three days to finish Traces of Guilt. Not because I wasn't intrigued...but I didn't feel the kind of sense of urgency that would keep me up at night turning pages. A good, steady, enjoyable read with promise of more to come.
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  • Iola
    May 12, 2016
    It’s always interesting to read the book description after reading the book—it shows that what the publisher thought the story was about, what they thought was important . . . which doesn’t always stack up with what I, as the mere reader, thought the story was about. Because I hadn’t read the book description since I requested the book (several weeks before I read it), I honestly thought Traces of Guilt was about Josh Thane and his childhood friend, Grace Arnett. Oops. Traces of Guilt actually c It’s always interesting to read the book description after reading the book—it shows that what the publisher thought the story was about, what they thought was important . . . which doesn’t always stack up with what I, as the mere reader, thought the story was about. Because I hadn’t read the book description since I requested the book (several weeks before I read it), I honestly thought Traces of Guilt was about Josh Thane and his childhood friend, Grace Arnett. Oops. Traces of Guilt actually covered both couples (although they weren’t really couples—Traces of Guilt is definitely suspense rather than romantic suspense). Evie is in town to solve some cold case crimes, and Grace is in town to ask for Josh’s help in solving a cold case of her own—her parent’s death, over twenty years before. There’s conflict, mystery and suspense, and plenty of it. I’ll add a trigger warning here: If any readers have avoided some of Dee Henderson’s earlier books (e.g. Taken) because of the themes, they’d be well advised to avoid Traces of Guilt as well. This isn’t the novel you pick up when you’re looking for a little light-hearted entertainment, as the plot elements echo Henderson’s other recent novels—this is one Christian author who isn’t afraid to expose hidden evils. The other possible proviso is for those who didn’t like Full Disclosure: Ann Falcon is a pivotal character in Traces of Guilt, and while other characters say marriage has been good for her, I’m still not an Ann Falcon fan. She’s too perfect, and I don't like her. However, this isn’t Ann’s story. Instead, Traces of Guilt is a well-plotted police procedural mystery, with Evie working with Gabriel, Josh, Will and their father to uncover the secrets behind the disappearance of a police deputy and his family, and a small girl. The results are predictably unpredictable. Or perhaps unpredictably predictable.Overall, Traces of Guilt was a solid mystery that will appeal to Dee Henderson fans (but perhaps not those who loathed Taken, or don't like Ann Silver). But I can't say it was good enough to tempt me to read the next book in the series.Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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