Friday, August 2, 2019

Tracy Crosswhite Returns in Another Excellent Novel from Robert Dugoni

This is another very good addition to Robert Dugoni's popular series featuring Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite. As the book opens, the reader discovers that Tracy is pregnant--something she has not yet revealed to her boss or to the other members of her team.

The first member of the squad to actually notice Tracy's pregnancy is a woman named Andrea Gonzalez. While Tracy has been busy testifying at a trial, her boss has brought Gonzalez into the unit, allegedly to replace another member who has transferred out. But when Tracy discovers Gonzalez working at her desk and going through the files on her computer, she immediately wonders if her boss, with whom she's crossed paths previously, has realized that Tracy is pregnant and is lining up a replacement in the hope that Tracy will not come back to the unit.

But Tracy has little time to deal with this issue because she is immediately drawn into the case of a young Indian woman named Kavita Mukherjee who has gone missing. The woman's parents and brothers are very traditional, and her mother has been set on arranging a marriage for Kavita, as is still customary in many Indian families, even here in America. Kavita, though, has ideas of her own. She is studying to become a doctor and is determined to pick her own husband when and if the time arrives. Tracy joins the investigation into the woman's disappearance, but as time passes, the chance of a happy outcome do not look good. 

Meanwhile, two other members of Tracy's unit, Vic Fazio and Del Castigliano are charged with investigating the murder of a mother and community activist named Monique Rogers who has been shot to death on a playground in a crime-ridden part of the city where she was actively mobilizing the community against the drug dealers and gangbangers who threaten the neighborhood. Their investigation will take them into dangerous territory at a time when Fazio faces critical personal problems.

Dugoni weaves all of these various threads together into a very compelling narrative that focuses on the personal lives of the characters as well as the investigations that they are pursuing. By now, readers of the series will have come to know these characters well and will be very happy to follow them through the pages of this engrossing novel.

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