Leave No Trace – Sara Driscoll

FBI Meg Jennings and her partner Brian Foster, along with their dogs Hawk & Lacey, return once more as the FBI is called to assist with some murders in northwestern Georgia. Members of the elite ‘Human Scent Evidence Team’, their services are often requested for tracking in extreme circumstances, such as the Georgia Blue Ridge area. Arriving on the scene of the crime, the team learns that a Georgia State Trooper is the latest victim in a bizarre set of murders – each man killed with the single shot of an arrow from a bowhunter. In each case, there’s been no witness, and other than the arrow, no evidence. 

From the arrow, Hawk & Lacey pick up a scent and head into the woods with their handlers only to lose it after a while, as too much time has elapsed between the killing and their arrival at the scene, but not without a chance encounter with the local wildlife.  Back at the Blue Ridge PD, the team learns of a connection between the two men killed – both had links to a planned project in Blue Ridge – the building of the Copperhill Dam, which hopes to generate power and manage flooding that comes with climate change  The towns involved are in conflict regarding the construction, with some at risk of losing their homes and land as a result. 

When a third victim is killed the same way, the team re-deploys to the area, with the intent of remaining on scene to catch a killer But very quickly, the hunters become hunted with the team becoming separated after an arrow meant for Meg nearly finds it’s mark, leaving her lost and injured in the wilderness with only Hawk for protection. Meanwhile, Brian and Lacey encounter dangers of their own as they try to call for help and mobilize a search. 

Meanwhile, a killer is free to hunt again…and it will take the combined efforts of the local PD, the FBI and a profile from Quantico’s infamous BAU to find and bring this killer to justice…

This was a GREAT read, and one I couldn’t put down. Though fiction, this novel is set in real places, with geography and bodies of water as described. Additionally, each chapter header involves a snippet of Cherokee history, and how the Indians were forced from their land by the US Government via the now infamous Trail of Tears.  As a fairly new transplant to the deep southeast, I was equally fascinated and troubled by this sad piece of history. 

I give deep thanks to Netgalley & Kensington books for the opportunity to read and review this book and for the addition of another author to my ‘MUST READ’ list!!  Give it a try – you will NOT be disappointed! 

(I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.)