Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson
Published by Bethany House Publishers May 02, 2017
Genre: Mystery and Suspense, Christian
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Evie Blackwell’s reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor’s new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results–and quickly.
Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn’t be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.
With a deep conviction that “justice for all” truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.
This latest Evie Blackwell Cold Case is anything but cold and Dee Henderson makes sure her readers will read to the very last page to discover the extremely elusive culprit. Her ability to make you feel like you are the one investigating the case or belong in the situation she presents is why I and so many others always love her books. This new series brings a whole new meaning to the word Tenacious, with a team dedicated to solving the crimes law enforcement has deemed unsolvable. Evie has picked a missing person’s case involving a college student who disappeared without a trace and whose body was never found. As she dives into the police reports and investigation notes she finds a thoroughness in them that makes her confident the detectives and officers in charge worked the case as far as they could before all leads ran out. But with the FBI and the Govenor’s office behind her, Evie hopes to use all her resources to find out what happened and bring the family the closure they desire. Digging deep below the surface of people’s lives is her life’s work and the deeper she digs into Jenna Greenhill, the more she finds that Jenna was not the sweet, smart friend parents and professors believed her to be. Jenna specialized in manipulation and used her “friends” to get her whatever she wanted, be it a new “boyfriend” or just the attention of everyone around. And this manipulation leads Evie to a suspect pool that grows larger with every question she asks. Evie has learned well from her mentor, Ann Falcon, that more information is always the best way to solve one’s case and although it means lots of reading and sorting this will serve Evie well when she starts finding ‘threads’ she can pull to find an answer to the mystery of Jenna’s disappearance. When one of the threads starts to lead in a direction that becomes personal for Evie’s friends and co-workers, she begins to pray the answers will not bring trouble or harm to those she loves most. Add to this the discovery that everyone who was interviewed after Jenna’s disappearance did not tell all they knew and Evie will have to work hard and fast to eliminate her ever expanding list of suspects. As she follows the evidence she begins to see that her case may be connected to other missing person’s cases that have yet to be fully resolved as well. And the linchpin of those connections may be the concert performances of her co-worker David Marshall’s fiancée, Maggie McDonald. Ms. Henderson brings from this tangled ball of threads a conclusion that is sure to leave her readers feeling that all questions were answered and all culprits caught. I loved reading every page of this story, from the descriptive ways that Ms. Henderson had Evie set up her suspect/questions boards to the interviews she conducted with those suspects. It was very much like walking alongside an investigator’s daily work without the aching feet to show for it. I also loved that Ms. Henderson included another case alongside the Greenhill disappearance that Evie consulted on. David has chosen to work the cold case of a missing PI who disappeared in the middle of multiple cases, several of which could have been the reason for his disappearance. I enjoyed seeing how Evie and David worked separately and together on both cases, each bringing new ideas and theories for the happenings of the crimes. Ms. Henderson was careful to give each their own distinctive voice and method of approaching a case. Their discussion of how they go about examining the evidence and reports was a fun conversation that helped me understand their ways of thinking about a case. And that Ms. Henderson also included excellent insights into both Evie and David’s personal lives was another of my favorite parts of this story. Evie is trying to sort out whether she loves her boyfriend Rob Turney enough to marry him, and if she will fit well into his life permanently. She loves that he is there for her at all times and that he lets her do her job without getting offended when the job breaks their plans. But is that enough to build a marriage on? And could she be the wife Rob needs to support his reputation as a much-sought-after fiscal banking advisor. David helps Evie ask the tough questions about her and Rob, making sure she tells Rob what her concerns are and how they can work through them. Ms Henderson is careful not to close out all of Evie’s relationship questions though, keeping the ultimate conclusion of that for another story in the series. With David, Ms. Henderson takes on the difficult situation of a person who has recently become a Christian but who is also engaged to a person who is not a Christian. I was thrilled to see that she made the situation as complicated as it should be but tempered it with kindness and grace. David loves Maggie very deeply but knows he can’t marry her unless she becomes a Christian. However he doesn’t feel God is calling him to break things off with Maggie, rather he understands that he must wait and let God bring her to Himself in His timing. Their story is so wonderfully powerful and sweet, showing that following God may be painful but trust is required if we wish to have the best that God has for us. Ms. Henderson closes out her story with the conclusion of both cases and both relationships growing in new and better ways. She also included a great new character named Lori Nesbitt who I hope will take on a larger role in later books. Ms. Henderson provides the perfect segue way between her books by solving the relevant crimes but leaving the persons involved incomplete in their decisions, both personally and professionally. I’m greatly looking forward to seeing how she will bring about the next phase of cold cases and personal lives of her characters. I have already recommended this book multiple times to others and will certainly continue to do so. Thank you Ms. Henderson for such a well written story!
I received this E-book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.