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In the Clearing: 3 Paperback – 17 May 2016
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The gripping third book in the internationally acclaimed series by New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni.
Detective Tracy Crosswhite has a skill, and a soft spot, for tackling unsolved crimes. Having lost her own sister to murder at a young age, Tracy has dedicated her career to bringing justice and closure to the families and friends of victims of crime.
So when Jenny, a former police academy classmate and protégé, asks Tracy to help solve a cold case that involves the suspicious suicide of a Native American high school girl forty years earlier, Tracy agrees. Following up on evidence Jenny’s detective father collected when he was the investigating deputy, Tracy probes one small town’s memory and finds dark, well-concealed secrets hidden within the community’s fabric. Can Tracy uphold the promise she’s made to the dead girl’s family and deliver the truth of what happened to their daughter? Or will she become the next victim?
“Tracy is a well-crafted character...Readers of the first two books will enjoy this one, and, because it can be read as a stand-alone, newcomers can jump right in.” ―Booklist
“Dugoni has become one of the best crime novelists in the business...Dugoni brings humor, emotional resonance, and gripping prose to his entire cast of characters. Newcomers will seek out the previous two novels in the series, and readers of the earlier entries will love this one as well.” ―RT Book Reviews, Top Pick
“[Robert Dugoni] tops himself in the darkly brilliant and mesmerizing In the Clearing, an ironically apt title for a tale in which nothing at all is clear...Dugoni, once known for Grisham-esque legal thrillers, continues to expand his considerable talents on a much broader canvas, staking out a claim to literary relevance established by the likes of Tony Hillerman and John D. MacDonald. Clearly not to be missed.” ―Providence Rhode Island Journal
“In the Clearing is Dugoni’s third crime novel featuring the Seattle homicide detective. Tracy Crosswhite returns in a well plotted narrative that presents readers with a complex and engrossing story to keep them turning the pages to the last. Recommended for all fans of modern detective fiction.” ―AuthorLink
“Not to be missed. The characters and case will draw you in and hold you til the last page.” ―Night Owl Reviews
About the Author
Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series, which has sold more than seven million books worldwide; the David Sloane series; the Charles Jenkins series; the stand-alone novels The 7th Canon, Damage Control, The World Played Chess, and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, for which he won an AudioFile Earphones Award for narration; and the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post best book of the year. He is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Book Award for fiction and has twice won the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel. He is a two-time finalist for the International Thriller Awards and a finalist for the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, the Silver Falchion Award for mystery, and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards. His books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than two dozen languages. Visit his website at www.robertdugonibooks.com.
- ASIN : 1503953572
- Publisher : Thomas & Mercer (17 May 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 365 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781503953574
- ISBN-13 : 978-1503953574
- Dimensions : 13.72 x 2.79 x 20.57 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 229,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dugoni’s mistake was trying to run two cases in tandem: one current and one cold. The aim was to show how solving one could trigger insight into the other. Fair enough, but there was a huge imbalance in their treatment. So much so that the recent murder actually seemed an irrelevance, a distraction even from the main narrative.
The real meat was in the reopening of a 20 year-old case involving the suicide of a young Native American woman. Fresh evidence has come to light and Tracey suspects a coverup for murder. While the mechanics of the investigation, in particular the forensics, are detailed and compelling, the actual rolling out of the plot is just plain dull. The story had great possibilities, but there were too many diversions and an inordinate number of characters who simply had no business being there.
Up until I read this book, I considered Tracey Crosswhite to be a brilliant detective heroine. Her back story - leaving teaching to join the police following the murder of her sister - gives her great motive and integrity. But Dugoni really missed an opportunity here to further develop the personal side of Tracey. I think most readers favor well-rounded characters with recognizable human emotions, foibles, strengths and weaknesses, but sadly Tracey hasn’t evolved at all from the person she was in the last book. For example, it would have been nice to explore more her relationship with boyfriend Dan, but he pretty much popped in at the beginning and the end, and that was it. He might as well not have been mentioned at all.
All in all, I think Dugoni dropped the ball big time with this one. I hope he picks it up again for Detective Crosswhite’s next big case.
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I particularly enjoyed the 'cold case' story-line. I won't spoil your enjoyment by revealing too much about the plot but Robert Dugoni's style of writing is so effective that as I read it I found myself reminiscing about my high school days in Canada in the late 1960s (even though this story is set in northern USA and the mid 1970s)! The cold case story features more prominently in the book than the case set in the modern day and I think the book is the better for this. I found the cold case far more interesting to follow as Tracy Crosswhite and her colleagues use current developments in forensic science to uncover new evidence that would not have been available forty years earlier. The only (minor) criticism I would have is the convenience of having so much evidence available to work with 40 years on. The second case takes a different angle as Tracy and her colleagues attempt to discover if the person who has admitted to a murder actually committed it or if they were covering up for the actions of someone else. Sorry, but you'll have to read the story to find out.
So overall, another terrific book from Robert Dugoni that I hope you will find as enjoyable to read as I did.
Now I know book 1 was set around Tracy's sister Sarah's murder case but I did find in this one it got a little tiresome that it was mentioned so often and I just saw in the synopsis of book 4 that it's a theme once more. Too many people Tracy happened upon had grey hair, too, I found. At the beginning we're told Kimi had been dating for six months, going back to the end of the last year but we were already in November so that's closer to a year by my maths. I've no idea what a grounder is and even Google was no help !! There were mentions of Angela making 2 phonecalls to different people at the same time. That was written correctly later in the story but not the first time so that was a little confusing. And Americans love their acronyms, don't they ? I had to keep looking them up-REI, USGS, etc....I did have a mumble under my breath about those. Another baffling moment was after she found the clinic a chap had visited and refers to psychotherapy and mental health but it hadn't been mentioned at all what type of facility it was so I wondered how SHE knew. He does it again when she visits Sam for the second time and he goes straight to a box of archived newspapers without her telling him the date she'd wanted to see....and yet again I was lost by "When UW (I figured this acronym) came knocking, that was all she wrote".....huh ?? Someone had been sick in the clearing yet Buzz hadn't spotted that or mentioned it and he was no slouch.
I chuckled to myself at Jenny knowing what her son's crying in the garden was all about. I don't have kids but CAN relate with my dogs as they have differing barks so I know when they really mean it !! I really liked the characters of Sam and Adele. They were lovely folks. I also enjoyed how we saw November 1976 through differing eyes and points of view. I liked the way that was done.
Once again I loved the dedication for Joe and also the way Catherine's described in the Acknowledgements-she sounds a gem. I'm pleased I get to stick with this series.
I felt the pacing of the book fell a bit flat in the middle & I had to force myself to keep on reading as I knew the payoff would be worth it...
A bittersweet, moving ending & good premise for future books... On we go to the next one!
Starting to enjoy the relationship between Tracy and Dan.
Would recommend this series....