Called in to consult after a young woman disappears, Tracy Crosswhite has the uneasy feeling that this is no ordinary missing-persons case. When the body turns up in an abandoned well, Tracy’s suspicions are confirmed. Estranged from her family, the victim had balked at an arranged marriage and had planned to attend graduate school. But someone cut her dreams short.
Solving the mystery behind the murder isn’t Tracy’s only challenge. The detective is keeping a secret of her own: she’s pregnant. And now her biggest fear seems to be coming true when a new detective arrives to replace her. Meanwhile, Tracy’s colleague Vic Fazzio is about to take a fall after his investigation into the murder of a local community activist turns violent and leaves an invaluable witness dead.
Two careers are on the line. And when more deadly secrets emerge, jobs might not be the only things at risk.
I really like the Tracy Crosswhite series and I was so happy when a new addition to the series popped up. I couldn’t wait to catch up with all of the characters again. A Steep Price is another solid read in the series but yet again a very different type of novel compared to the previous one, and the one before that. There’s no mistaking his signature style though, it certainly contains his typical cheeky humour again, and I especially love the way he references – quite ironically – lawyers at least once in every novel.
‘We tan the way lawyers tell the truth, never on purpose and never very well’
One of the strengths of this series and why I came to enjoy reading this one so much as well is definitely the cast of Del, Faz, Kins and Tracy, the four members of the A team. I really don’t know any other team of detectives that have such warm and tight dynamics. They can quip and bitch to each other but they can also just as easily cry in front of one another if something’s troubling them, which is exactly what is happening in this novel. Health issues lay at the base and although it is justified, it is a sight unseen. I’m not used to detectives having doubts and fears but this series makes me realise they are only human too and I appreciate that they are more than just a detective, they are actually friends of each other as well and they know each other’s families like their own.
This time the foursome is divided into two teams working separately. I foolishly thought the storylines would cross at some point but you’ll see that they don’t run in the same circles so the chance was practically nihil. Tracy starts off at court giving testimony but while waiting for the verdict she’s called about a missing student which she pursues with Kins. At the same time Del and Faz look into the murder on a woman who fought for a better community, after-school lessons and only wanted a drug-free neighbourhood.
I enjoyed the setting of this novel more than I did the previous one, which was situated on a military base. This time the author provides an insight into the Indian way of life. He chose two Indian girls with divided opinions about arranged marriages, the girl who went missing had no contact with her parents anymore, she received no money from them and she was very much on her own by choosing not to marry someone chosen for her. Both investigations were interesting but the disappearance of this student felt just a bit more mistifying and unsettling and I felt myself drawn to this plotline a little more.
Another excellent novel to add to your list if you enjoy reading police procedurals, but start with novel 1 to get properly addicted!
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.