My Sister's Grave introduces Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite. Twenty years earlier, her younger sister, Sarah, who was then eighteen, disappeared after the two had participated in a shooting competition. As Tracy went off to dinner with her boyfriend, Sarah left to drive home in the rain and was never seen again.
The two sisters had been best of friends and Tracy has never forgiven herself for allowing Sarah to drive home alone. Twenty years later, the pain is still sharp and ultimately led Tracy to give up her career as a teacher to become a homicide detective.
A previously convicted rapist named Edmund House was arrested and convicted of Sarah's murder, largely on the basis of circumstantial evidence and on the testimony of the local sheriff who claimed that House had confessed to killing Sarah, even though there was no tape recording or witness to back up the sheriff's claim. Tracy has never been totally convinced of House's guilt and has continued digging into the case in an effort to satisfy herself of the fact that justice either was or was not done.
As the book opens, Sarah's remains are finally found by two hunters in a heavily wooded area that had previously been covered by a lake. The discovery of the body raises even more questions about the case against Edmund House and makes Tracy even more determined to make sure that the person who killed her sister pays the price. Her efforts will antagonize a good number of people in the small town where she grew up and where the crime occurred. They will also place Tracy herself in a considerable amount of jeopardy.
This is a very compelling story that combines the best elements of a legal thriller with that of a gripping police procedural. Tracy Crosswhite makes a very engaging protagonist and the story moves at such a fast clip that it's almost impossible to put the book down once it gets rolling. All in all, a very good introduction to this series.