It’s been four months since Josie’s last case – a double murder on her wedding day, where her grandmother Lisette was killed in front of her. Josie is preparing to return to work after an extended suspension/leave, which has included visits with a psychologist as she struggles to come to terms with Lisette’s death. As she’s leaving her appointment, she turns on the radio to learn that a local woman is missing – one of the parents of a group of children killed in a school bus accident two years ago – interesting as the trial of the former bus driver is due to begin shortly. A quick detour to visit to her ex-husbands’ cemetery memorial leads to Josie stumbling upon the missing woman’s body – very obviously a homicide.
As the Denton PD responds to Josie’s call for help to secure the scene, Josie, Noah & Gretchen begin their investigation. The victim was a single parent who, other than attending group therapy sessions with the other grieving parents, isolated herself from everyone after the death of her daughter. So, who would want to kill her – and why?
As the team gathers background information, they learn that the families of the deceased children – and of the bus driver accused of killing them – all live in the same neighborhood with homes very close to one another. Interviews with each individual offer glimpses into the lives of the others, and the entanglements & secrets that existed between all of them. Shortly thereafter, another parent goes missing and is found dead, the circumstances eerily similar to the first murder. But who wants these parents dead? And why?
This book had a bit of a different, sadder flavor than those earlier in the series. Between the loss of Josie’s beloved Lisette, and the loss of the five children as a preface to this novel, it was much more somber read than usual, and a bit hard to see Josie struggle with her sorrow – but none-the-less, a good solid ‘whodunit’ from one of my most favorite authors!
I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & Bookouture in exchange for an objective review.