Author: Jane Haseldine
Series: Julia Gooden Mystery #3
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
When her past comes back to haunt her, Julia Gooden uses all she has learned as a reporter to solve a cold case that has been clinging to her for decades.
Julia Gooden is a crime reporter that just can’t let go of her past. Her parents neglected her and her siblings growing up and then left them for good when her brother disappeared. Julia has tried and seemed to be succeeding in overcoming the odds of such a difficult childhood. Her boyfriend, Ray Navarro is one of the best things in her life, along with her two boys and she wants to continue the streak of happiness she has found. However, after three decades, ghosts from her past have come back to haunt her when she sees her father. After so long, she wants to know what he is doing back in town and why he left in the first place. She also has a feeling deep down that he was involved in whatever happened to her brother and if so needs to make him pay for taking him from her. As Julia looks deeper into things, she starts to see a pattern for what is happening now and what happened thirty years ago, leading her to believe she may finally find out what happened to her brother all those years ago.
Even though this is the third in a series, it can totally be read as a stand-alone. I didn’t realize that when I started reading it and don’t think it would have made much of a difference had I read the first two in the series. The characters were intriguing, even if they were a bit predictable at times. The boyfriend being a cop makes the story flow with getting information for the case and Julia having a source for her stories but they do fit well together. The different family dynamics were interesting, I enjoyed how it showed Julia with Ray and her boys as compared to how she was with her sister and father. Families are like that, some people get along better than others and that’s just life, so I enjoyed how the author played the story out in those dynamics contrasting each other. It is clear from the beginning of the novel that the current case ties in with what happened to Julia’s brother all those years ago setting the stage for a nonstop page turner. I enjoyed the way things tied together with many of the different characters that if you told me at the beginning would end up this way I wouldn’t have believed you, but somehow it all worked out beautifully. I would recommend this book to readers that enjoy a good mystery with clues throughout but the ending not given away until the very end. There was just a bit of harsh language throughout so I don’t recommend if for younger readers.
I received a compliment copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.