Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Desolation Canyon by PJ Tracy
Narrator: Abby Craden
Published by MacMillan Audio on January 18, 2022
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 7 hours, 55 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan is struggling to move forward after the death of her brother in Afghanistan and taking a life in the line of duty. Her stoic parents offer little support – they refuse to address anything difficult, and she’s afraid their relationship is eroding beyond the point of recovery.
The days off are the hardest, because they give Margaret time to think. A moment of weakness leads to cocktails with a colleague—an attraction she knows could be dangerous —at the luxurious Hotel Bel-Air bar. A stroll through the grounds leads to a grim discovery beneath the surface of Swan Lake: the body of a successful attorney who made his fortune in international trade.
It initially appears to be death by misadventure, but the case is anything but straightforward. As a series of shocking revelations emerge, Nolan finds herself confronting a sinister cabal that just might destroy her and everyone she loves.
One of my readers recommended this author and a different series of theirs. PJ Tracy is actually a mother-daughter team, but it looks like now the daughter is the one writing this newer Detective Margaret Nolan series. When I saw Desolation Canyon, it was only the second in the series. I grabbed the first book Deep into the Dark from the library and went right on to this book, minutes after finishing.
Detective Nolan, along with her partner, is sort of a main character, with supporting characters in her friends, family and love interests. But there is also Sam Easton, who is equally important, along with the people in his life. It feels just a little weird that the series is named after her when she is half or less of the focus.
I enjoy police procedurals so this was a style I am comfortable reading. Sam came into the series as a suspect or at the least a witness, when his wife is murdered in the first book. Both Margaret and Sam are having serious personal issues to battle. Margaret lost her brother recently; he was in the military. Sam was also in the military, having lost much of his team and suffering physical injuries.
The murdered guy has a masked life hiding his connection to a whole other world with Russians, child trafficking, drugs and plenty of other illegal enterprises. Of course, his actual work and colleagues are investigated which is dangerous and horrifying as various aspects are revealed. Then it gets connected to their personal lives and is all the more complex.
I appreciate stories with layers of character developments and progression in both their professional and personal lives, along with a mystery and police investigation. I had all those in a slightly different style so that was intriguing. I definitely plan to read more as the series is released.
I have listened to Abby Craden but it has been quite awhile ago. It took me a bit to settle into her performance but I did and was happy with her character voices. I listened comfortably at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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