Dee Henderson Pens Another Compelling Cold Case Mystery
Evie Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce resultsand quickly.
Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.
With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.
About the Author
Dee Henderson is the author of numerous novels, including Traces of Guilt and the acclaimed O'Malley series. Her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, such as the RITA Award, the Christy Award, and the ECPA Gold Medallion. Visit her at www.deehenderson.com.
Read an Excerpt
Threads of Suspicion
An Evie Blackwell Cold Case
By Dee Henderson
Baker Publishing GroupCopyright © 2017 Dee Henderson
All rights reserved.
As Governor Bliss came to the podium, Lieutenant Evie Blackwell dug her hands into her coat pockets, grateful the January cold would keep this press announcement on schedule and limited to twenty minutes. His inauguration just the day before had been sunnier and a few degrees warmer. She did her best to ignore the television cameras trained on the podium, knowing she and the other officers on the stage were now in their view frame, and that this clip would run on the local evening newscast.
The governor, at ease with the crowd, spoke without notes. "Thank you all for coming this afternoon. As one of my first acts as governor, I am pleased to announce the creation of the Missing Persons Task Force.
"Led by Lieutenant Noble of the Riverside Police Department," he said, motioning toward her in the row behind him, "these detectives will take a fresh look at cold cases across the state of Illinois, where a loved one has gone missing, bringing new insights, questions, and ideas to the table. Working with local police, they will endeavor to find answers and bring needed closure.
"I know when you are waiting for news, any wait is too long. My sister, Shannon, was missing for eleven years. I never stopped searching, I never gave up hope, and through God's grace and Shannon's courage, she is home again. We need more miracles that will get similar news to many families. And for those whose missing father, mother, daughter, or son will not be coming home again, so that they will be able to lay their loved one to rest. This is a first step, a good step, toward helping find answers.
"I would like now to introduce the man who leads the Illinois State Police, Commander Frank Foster, for a few brief remarks."
It was official. For the next two years she would be timesharing between her current job with the Illinois State Police's Bureau of Investigations and the new Missing Persons Task Force. Evie caught the eye of her boyfriend, Rob Turney, in the audience behind the press corps and shared a smile. It had been nice of him to take a day off work, fly down to Springfield from Chicago, to be part of her day and this announcement.
The commander's remarks concluded, Evie in turn shook hands with the governor, stood for photos with the other taskforce members, and the event was completed.
Evie maneuvered through the crowd to join Rob. "Would you like to say hello to the governor? I can get us a minute with him before he slips away, if you like," she offered, sliding her hand into his. Rob had met then-Governor-elect Bliss at the Christmas party of her friends, Ann and Paul Falcon, and had spoken about the encounter many times since. Ann had gotten Evie her job on the task force, as their friendship covered more than years.
Rob considered the crowd around the governor. "I appreciate the thought, Evie, but there will be future occasions when your cases are successfully solved. This signature piece of his administration is going to have his considerable attention. I'll get to talk with him another time."
Her hand tightened on his as she smiled. "I love the optimism. Can you stay for a meal?"
He replied by leaning down, kissing her softly. "Thanks," he said, his voice full of regret, "but I need to be getting back for a late meeting. You'll be getting organized with the new group and I'd just be in the way. I'll catch a return flight with Ann and Paul. Call me tonight. Let me know where you're heading tomorrow. If it's anywhere north, we'll meet up for dinner this week."
She hugged him, and his arms held her close as she whispered, "Thank you." It conveyed a wealth of unspoken realities. Her present job took her back and forth across the state, and she'd just committed to twenty-four months of even more relentless travel.
"You'll do great work, Evie, and make us both proud."
She let him go. She had a marriage proposal from him waiting, an offer that he would make if and when she was ready to say yes. He wanted the permanence of being married to her, and she simply wasn't there yet. But she was thinking more and more about it. As she had scanned across the faces familiar to her at the event, she realized again that his presence mattered a great deal more than any of the others.
As Rob headed over to Paul and Ann Falcon, Evie looked around to see where her group was gathering. David Marshal was the only one not presently in conversation with someone from the press. She moved to join him — a solid guy, comfortable with the attention, and taking it all in stride more easily than she was. She was sure she was going to enjoy working with him, as his reputation as a New York City cop preceded him. He had come back to his Chicago roots just for this new venture.
"Your guy?" David asked, nodding at Rob's receding back.
"Nice. I'm glad he was here to see this."
Evie smiled. "You have a girl?"
David returned the smile and said easily, "I do. We've been dating a number of years now. She's still in New York, but is moving back to Chicago soon." He nodded an acknowledgment to a person in the crowd. "I hear you're hosting tonight."
"I hope you like your chili hot and your jambalaya spicy," she replied with a smile. She was the only one in the group who actually lived in the Illinois capital of Springfield. She had volunteered her home and a meal for their first gathering as a team.
"It sounds perfect for a cold day."
The others joined them as they got clear of the press. She would have the honor of working alongside some of the best detectives in the state. Sharon Noble in charge, Theodore Lincoln out of Chicago, Taylor Aims from St. Louis, David Marshal back from New York. She hoped to keep up, to pull her weight, to do solid, effective work representing the Illinois State Police.
"How about directions, Evie, and we'll reassemble at your place?" Sharon suggested. "Besides a nice meal, we're going to be able to get some actual work done today. This is exciting," she said, rubbing her cold hands together. They all laughed at her enthusiasm.
Evie gave directions, then added, "The dogs are Apollo and Zeus and love nothing more than to have a rumble with guys. You want to make a friend for life, toss a tennis ball and watch them smash into snowdrifts for the catch. Neighbors on both sides are in Florida for the season, so park wherever the snowplows have cut a path." She glanced at her new boss. "Sharon, why don't you bring John? Since your Riverside PD will be doing task-force paperwork, shouldn't he be in on the opening round of decisions? There's plenty of food."
"He's got to meet up with Commander Foster first, but I'll suggest he come by after that," Sharon agreed. John Graham, deputy chief of the Riverside PD, would be involved even if not formally. Sharon presently wore John's ring, and wedding plans were in the works. Evie was hoping to have a few minutes to ask John for wedding-shower gift ideas.
Plans settled, the group dispersed toward the parking lot.
* * *
"Evie, I think your dogs are stalking me."
She set down the pitcher of iced tea and turned, saw that David was right. The German shepherds were about four feet behind him, both in a hunting stance, intently creeping up on him. She grinned. They'd attack his shoelaces if they could get close enough. "They get bored during the winter." She walked over and interrupted their hunt, leaned down and scratched behind their ears. "Relax, guys. He's too big for a decent quarry. Go play with your rope or find your ducks."
David laughed as they reluctantly headed out of the kitchen. "You've got to give them credit for working together." He dipped himself another bowl of chili, added grated cheese and crackers. "It's great chili, by the way."
"Thanks — my grandmother's recipe. Throw it in a crockpot, it's ready any time."
She dipped out a bowl of the jambalaya and carried it with her iced tea over to the table, glancing at Sharon, who gave a nod to her questioning look.
"I vote we head to the most heartbreaking counties first," Evie said, responding to the question at hand. "Douglas County has three missing seven-year-olds, plus a school principal and a grandmother."
"That county needs to be on our short list," Theo agreed, writing it on the large whiteboard she'd brought in for their convenience. They had already determined to work county by county, taking a fresh look at cold cases five to fifteen years old. Evie had done a test run of the strategy in Carin County over her vacation last November, and it had worked well. Which county to head to first was the question on the table.
"We will have extra media interest in the initial months," Taylor said. "We can use that to get the public's help with certain cases. Those missing in Briar County, for example, cover the gamut," he added, reviewing a summary sheet. "A wife and two daughters. A college student. A businessman in his fifties. A teenage boy. A private investigator. That's a lot of human interest in one place, helping keep appeals for information prominent in the news."
"Not to be too political, but do we want to factor in the likelihood of solving the cases into our decision?" David asked, setting down the second bowl of chili and pulling out a chair beside Evie. "Some cases have already had more media exposure, more manpower hours, than others. Clark County has two missing women, both with a history of prostitution. The reality is they likely wouldn't have been worked as aggressively as the missing seven-year-olds. And if we could solve those two cases, we likely would be able to do the same in adjacent counties, since those kinds of missing persons tend to be part of a larger pattern."
"Working those could lead to a major arrest," Sharon said. "Add that county to the short list, Theo. I like the idea of going where there is the suggestion of a larger pattern. What's the consensus? Do we want to try for a home run our first time at bat? Or do we play softball while we jell as a group?"
"Attempting a home run first time at bat, you mostly hit air," Theo cautioned.
"What's the mood of the locals?" Taylor asked. "Some of these counties' law enforcement will want our help, while others will be less than welcoming. We're going to need homegrown assistance. They know the area, the people, and we need that kind of knowledge to run down leads. I'd say we go first where we know we're wanted."
Murmurs of agreement came from around the table.
"All three of these counties would welcome our involvement," Sharon told them. "David, you've traveled the farthest to join the task force, so I'll make this your choice. Which county do we work first? And which case there do you want?"
"Let's head to Briar County. For full disclosure, I still need to get settled house-wise, and that's close to where I'll be buying. And I like the idea of looking for that missing PI. It suggests some interesting work."
Sharon nodded and continued around the table. "Evie, which case would you like?"
Evie scanned the summary sheet, and it was an easy choice. "The college student."
"The teenage boy."
She wrote their selections down. "Okay, I'll take the missing wife and two daughters. Good. We've got our opening salvo. We'll work them both individually and as a group. As we solve one, we'll double up on the others." She sorted maps in her briefcase and pulled out Briar County, unfolded it on the table.
The locations where the individuals had gone missing were already circled. "We're going to be spread out across this county. Evie and David, why don't you base in Ellis, help each other out? Theo and I will head to Park Heights. Taylor's in Juno. Let's plan to meet as a group in Juno on —" she pulled out her calendar — "Wednesday, the twenty-eighth of January, to talk through our progress."
"Drive or fly?" David asked, glancing at Evie.
"I'd rather have my own car than a rental," she said. "Roads are snowy, but we could make it there by, say, one a.m. if you want to go up tonight, travel in tandem."
"I'm for getting there, sleeping in," he agreed.
Sharon folded the map. "The travel budget is going to accommodate what we need, along with decent hotels. I plan to fly north with John and Theo in the morning. It's faster to make your own reservations and put in for reimbursement, or you can let the State Police travel staff make your bookings — the number is in your packets. It's taking about ninety days to get repaid right now."
"Some things never change," Taylor remarked with a shrug. "I'll plan to drive up tomorrow."
"Good. With the exception of David, we've all got current jobs that are going to demand attention too. You get called away, be sure to leave your notes. David, can you handle covering interviews if someone needs to step out?"
"Not a problem."
Evie rose to cut the pies — she'd bought apple, cherry, and lemon meringue. "The case files, Sharon," she said over her shoulder, "should we call tonight to get evidence boxes pulled?"
"Briar County is one of a handful that has already retrieved their case files from the archives. The boxes will be with the officers who most recently worked the cases, waiting for pickup. I'll make some calls tonight and locate workspace for us at these various locations — probably a conference room at the local PD or empty office space. I'll text you specifics as I get them. I don't want us having to work a case out of our hotel room unless that's your choice." Sharon looked around the table. "What else am I forgetting?"
"You'll handle the press?"
"Only if I can't get a volunteer."
"We unanimously vote that one's yours," Theo replied for the group with a smile.
"I was afraid of that. What else?"
"We're good. Come have pie," Evie suggested after a moment, getting plates out. "We'll celebrate the start of the task force in style."
* * *
Sharon looked around the room at the cops eating pie, getting better acquainted with each other, and felt a deep satisfaction. The Illinois Missing Persons Task Force would do good work over the next two years. In her opinion, the depth of talent in the room was unrivaled. This was her team now, and for the next two years, professionals all. They would get it done.
She had been working missing-persons cases for the last eight years with the Riverside PD and loved the job. She was an optimist — missing persons could be found, or at least closure could be had. Being asked by the governor to lead this task force was a gift, one she was going to enjoy.
John Graham, the deputy chief of police for the Riverside Police Department, and the man whose ring sparkled on her left hand, had arrived and was in earnest conversation with Theo. She'd be juggling wedding plans with her task-force work, but she'd handled more difficult complications in the past. John had encouraged her to take this on. Everything needed for success was here. Now they just had to deliver on the promise, find some people.
"Sharon, when's the wedding?" Evie asked, coming over to join her.
"We've decided on the twenty-seventh of April."
"A spring wedding. Nice."
"John wants three weeks away for a honeymoon, and I'm considering that idea. I'd rather have two and spend a week of that getting settled into his home. Travel isn't my thing, and for every day away, the piles on both our desks just grow that much higher."
Evie laughed. "A minor negotiation between the romantic and a pragmatic."
"Governor Bliss asked me to pass on his thanks again for your willingness to serve on the team. I don't need to tell you how personal our success is for him."
"I know. I'm going to like the work."
"So am I. The idea of solving what has happened to a mother and two daughters has me itching to get those files open," Sharon admitted with a smile. "Ann said to get in touch with her if you need anything. She's now officially on the FBI payroll as a retired homicide cop consultant, so we can draw her in on whatever investigative work we want while the task force gets established."
"Good. For starters, I plan to ask if she wants to walk around a college campus with me."
"She'll be useful to all of us. Your dogs will be okay with your extended absence?"
Evie turned and saw the two German shepherds watching her guests from a perch on the stairwell landing. "Recently retired military guys on this block take care of them while I'm traveling — basically wear them out with an army version of daily PT. I'm the mom who babies them when I'm home. My dogs get the best of all worlds when I travel." She'd given them a bath the day before, and for tonight they looked like gentlemen. "I'm clearing out perishables since I don't know when I'll be home next. You want oranges, bagels to take to the hotel for the morning?"
"How about a piece or two of pie?"
Sharon looked over to see what John had chosen. "He's favoring the cherry if there's extra of it. He'll view it as fruit and have it for breakfast." They laughed, and Evie went to box it up.
An hour to wrap up here, Sharon thought, mentally listing immediate tasks, let Evie and David get on the road, make calls to find workspaces, and then a quick text to the governor — keep him in the loop as requested. John glanced over, shared a smile with her. He was her biggest supporter in this new endeavor. God, you really favored me with a good man, she mentioned to Him in gratitude.
Balancing work and a personal life when you were a cop took unusual wisdom, and Sharon knew Evie was in the process of sorting it all out for her own life. A young, gifted detective, destined to be Ann's replacement on sensitive matters for the governor. One of the reasons Evie was on the task force was so Sharon could help get her ready for that role; she was going to enjoy that mentoring role. Teaming Evie with David had been the first step toward that end. David was a great guy. He'd been in a solid relationship for a while, and the dynamics of juggling the job and dating would be another point of common ground and possibly helpful discussions.
Excerpted from Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson. Copyright © 2017 Dee Henderson. Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Kept me guessing all along. Loved it!
Deb’s Dozen: Detailed police procedural with Evie Blackwell leads to a cold case solution. Threads of Suspicion is a detailed police procedural in this new Evie Blackwell Cold Case book. Evie has been chosen by the governor to work on a new Missing Persons Task Force that is trying to solve cold cases around the state. She and an associate, David Marshal, have two unrelated cases located in suburban Chicago. Evie and David share office space and serve as each other’s sounding boards as they work through the details of their cases, come up with theories, and try to tie the links together. Henderson tells us the process in gory detail as well. If you’re interested in the minutia of an investigation gone cold, you’ll love this book. I do but must admit at times I was skimming rather than reading those details. To make the story more interesting, Evie and David both have love interests, but not each other. Evie’s is a successful banker who will propose when she comes to a decision about him, and David’s is famous singer, Maggie May McDonald with the band Triple M. Things become interesting when their cases intersect as well as their personal lives Henderson knows the details of police work and explains them well-sometimes too well. She also knows how to write characters. Evie and David come alive and you care for them-as well as some of their suspects. I give Threads of Suspicion four stars, because I like police procedurals. Dee Henderson is the award-winning author of the O’Malley Family series, which first drew me to her writing as well as the Uncommon Heroes series among others. She’s won or been nominated for the RITA, the Christy, and the ECPA Gold Medallion. Find out more about her and her books at deehenderson.com. Bethany House gave me a copy of Threads of Suspicion, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.
This was a fantastic mystery novel. There were two cases to solve, and even with all of that, Dee Henderson managed to add a little romance into the mix. As Evie struggled with whether or not to accept Rob's proposal, she realizes things about herself that she needed to face. What a great example of trusting God to guide your life.
I can only say that I love this story. I am so looking forward to book 3 in this series( An Evie Blackwell Cold Case). I love how Evie and David work so well together. There is just enough suspense in the story. Evie is on a missing person cold case squad in Illinois and still working for the Illinois Bureau of Investigation. She is very busy. There are many twists and turns throughout this story. Each cold case is very interesting. I did not want to put this book down. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I love shows like Cold Case, Criminal Minds, and CSI on television and this book is a wonderful one to fill my desire as it combines elements of each of these shows as Evie attempts to solve some unsolved missing person cases. While she would love to find the missing person alive, it's been a long time and she knows that the best thing she can do for the families is to recover the body and give them resolution. Dee Henderson has truly given readers a sense of the hard work, determination, and compassion of investigators. Add a bit of romance to the mix and you have a great read. Romantic decisions must be made: one isn't sure she is ready to commit to love and marriage while one is eager to marry but his partner is not a Christian and he refuses to be unequally yoked. The faith of the characters is woven naturally into the lives and conversations so that it is not contrived as is often the case in many works of Christian fiction. There were too many details and characters at times for me to follow the story, but this may be due to the fact that I did not read book one in the series. I rate this book 4 stars and highly recommend it to readers and I do recommend reading book one before tackling this one. I received a complementary e-version of this book from netgalley and the publishers. I was encouraged but not required to write a review and all opinions expressed are my own.
Threads of Suspicion is a work of romantic suspense written by Dee Henderson. It is about an investigator named Evie Blackwell who is working for a missing person’s task force with her partner David. The book carries you through the investigations into both of their cases and their romantic lives as they work together to close their first missing person cases of the task force. I have been trying to branch out my reading genres a lot more and this book was the first suspense/mystery novel I have read since I was 10 and reading things like The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew so I was very excited to give this a read. Honestly it took me awhile to really get into this book and find some enjoyment in it but I want to attribute a lot of that to simply being outside of my reading comfort zone. Once I finally found myself enjoying the book it became impossible to put down. Henderson’s writing was flawless in the way she combined the suspense of the missing person cases with the relationship issues that both Evie and David are going through. As the characters started closing in on the answers to their cases and things started to go slightly South with Evie’s case about a missing college student my heart was racing waiting with the anticipation at what was to come. I can not wait to read more books from this series and continue falling in love with the characters that Henderson has created. A major issue I have had when trying to read other suspense novels is the flow of the book feeling forced but this book flowed effortlessly and it was obvious that Henderson has done her research on the subject matter. My one wish for this book would have been to have gotten more answers on Maggie’s journey for faith and for Evie’s search for an answer to her proposal. I’m sure the answers will come in the following book but the end left me feeling slightly empty and without the resolutions i was hoping for. It seemed as though things will be working out for the best on both relationship fronts based on small events at the end of the story but I guess will we have to wait and see Overall I give this story 4 out of 5 stars. I personally will be reading more of Henderson’s Evie stories and most likely some of her other writings as well. If you are a fan of romance novels or a good mystery I recommend checking this book out. *I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review. *
Will her latest cold case unravel before justice is served? Evie Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's Missing Persons Task Force. With so much public fanfare surrounding the launch of this elite investigative team, the political stakes are high, and the team will have to produce results, quickly. Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different. As Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood over the disappearance of a college student, David searches for a private investigator whose last case involved a high-powered client. As they separately pursue their cases, they bounce ideas and thoughts off one another about the case of the others. It is interesting to see differences in how investigators might choose to pursue and interpret leads. In general, the time and thought that goes into investigating cold cases was fascinating. The idea of building many scenarios that fit the existing facts of the case, no matter how diverse or outlandish was interesting and thought-provoking. Given a certain set of facts, how many ways could one logically explain the missing person case? As the investigations continue, the cases begin to intertwine and even cross over into the personal lives of the two investigators. The resources of others are called in as the potential crimes take on even more ominous tones. With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But the questions that lie just beneath the surface in Evie's personal life are also begging for answers. Although Threads of Suspicion reads like an investigative textbook; full of swirling data, and confusing innuendos, eventually letting its readers tip-toe into the hearts and minds of two very focused detectives, whose personal lives hold just as many challenges as the facts of this case. The combination of dogged detective work and clever deductions that lead to answers to solve both cases are bound to please mystery fans. Another great read for the summer I received a digital copy of the book from Baker Publishing Group/Bethany house and NetGalley for my review.
I have not read a Dee Henderson book in a long while, too long so I opted to start with the second book in her new series, An Evie Blackwell Cold Case. This novel is over 400 pages and did take me some time to read it. Not because it was slow or anything, just because there was so much story and information within in the story that really did fascinate me. The author definitely has done her research in how missing person cold cases are handled and just some of the thought processes and work processes that are involved. This is about a team of detectives that are given cold cases to try to solve. This particular story was focused on Evie Blackwell and her partner David. The amount of information they had to process and given the time that had passed on the cases, to me was staggering. I thoroughly enjoyed the way their brains worked and the white board scenarios that grew from looking at all the old evidence with fresh eyes. We do get to see some of the personal lives of these detectives, especially in the romance department. I liked that we had two people working together and they were just friends and partners as they each had someone else special. This story was intricately detailed and was quite a mystery/suspense. I wanted to just peek at the end so many times to see how everything wrapped up but I did not as that would have ruined the whole story. If you enjoy well-done crime dramas, this is a story that really gets into the details of how detectives work. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to give a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
Evie Blackwell is a successful detective in the Illinois State Police. The new governor has recently established a Missing Persons Task Force, and Evie has been selected to be part of the team. With her new partner, David, Evie heads to Chicago to solve the mystery of a missing college student, while David tries to locate a missing Private investigator. It has been nine years since Evie’s college student disappeared and Evie is hoping to help the family find closure. When David and Evie’s cases intercept, it becomes clear that more may be on the line than the governor’s new task force. Can David and Evie solve the case before another young woman goes missing? Evie Blackwell is a strong, vivid character that draws the reader in with her drive to find the truth and solve her case. The case is very interesting, seemingly simple, but proving to be much more complex as certain aspects unfold throughout the investigation. Her new partner, David, is rather charismatic and seeing the different ways that they both employ to solve their missing persons cases is interesting. Both Evie and David are devote Christians and employ their faith to help them solve cases but they also understand that not everyone, including ones that they love, share their faith. They sometimes discuss their faiths together, opening up the gates to the religious questions that sometimes plague the faithful as well as those seeking the truth behind Christianity. Despite the religious aspects of this story, this book is a great read for anyone looking for an interesting cold case investigation type of read. It focuses more on the case than the faith, making a great read for Christian and non-Christian mystery fans. I’ve always been a fan of a good mystery novel, especially one that kept me guessing, which this one did. It was difficult to be able to guess ahead of time, but still a very satisfying mystery. The dynamics involving local and non-local celebrities, such as the governor and the senator, heightened the interest of the social dynamic outside of the college crowd. I would have liked the case to have been slightly more intense than it was, however, understanding that this was a nine year old cold case made the intensity level understandable. As the case progressed so did the intensity level to some extent. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a tough puzzle and/or anyone who enjoys Christian fiction mysteries. I borrowed my copy of this novel from my local library and have permission from the publishers at Bethany House to use the image of the cover artwork featured above. stephanietiner.weebly.com
Evie is now part of the governor's Missing Persons Task Force due to her experience as an investigator. The team takes all of the missing person cases and divides up. Evie is partnerered with David Marshall. The two have separate cases, but soon find their cases intertwining in ways they never imagined. Evie somehow manages to juggle her boyfriend, new partner, current and new jobs, but is having a hard time making a decision that will impact her for the rest of her life. She knows that only her heavenly Father will be able to help her with this one. I love this author's writing style. Ever had a bad day and the only thing you wanted to do was come home and get comfortable? This author is that comfort "food" or favorite shirt. I love diving into her books and not coming up for a breath. While her style of writing stays the same, her characters and plots are varied. This series seems to be a lot lower key and less suspense than her previous books were. I can see where some readers might prefer her other books more, but while I have loved every book she's ever written, I'm loving this new plot style. The books flows smoothly and quietly until you realize you are completely immersed in the story. Overall, I really enjoyed the book, despite the lack of suspense and look forward to the next book coming out. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House. All thoughts expressed are my own.
I thoroughly enjoyed Threads of Suspicion! In this well-crafted procedural, Henderson takes readers straight to the heart of cold case investigations. Brimming with details and descriptions, I found the complexities of cold case files quite fascinating. I enjoyed the dynamic between Evie Blackwell and her task force partner, David Marshal, as they puzzled through the twists and turns of their investigations. In addition to their case work, I also delighted in the glimpses into their personal relationships. Threads of Suspicion is an intriguing and compelling tale that leaves me eager for more Evie Blackwell Cold Case Files! I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
Wow did Dee Henderson knock my socks off!! Threads of Suspicion was so good, I could not put it down!!I loved the feel of this book… it was a bit Forensic Files meets Criminal Minds which are my kind of shows!! I also enjoy the aspect of going through cold case files… for a cold case file this one was totally hoppin! I’m seriously already so ready for the next book as this one has me feigning for it! Everything about this book was just so complex and surprising. I love how I read the whole book and didn’t have any idea who committed the crime… well I had a few ideas but I wasn’t right! I love how she interconnects all the current characters with the older characters. It really leaves the book and people feeling fresh! Even with all the new people, I didn’t feel overwhelmed... I mean there are quite a few people to keep strait and it can get to be too much… too many relationships happening. This was right on point! I think my favorite aspect of this book is getting into the cases. This doesn’t feel like just some book glossing over police procedures… you get down and dirty with them and I just LOVE that. I also really enjoyed the characters. While sometimes the main characters feel incredibly perfect, flawed but flawed in a perfect way… just like normal people. There are a ton of familiar faces... Ann and Paul Falcon make a number of appearances, as do Bryce and Charlotte Bishop. I might have missed Gabriel Thane a bit. Nothing romantic ever developed between Evie and Gabe in book one of this series, I was hoping it would in this second book. However, Evie is happily dating Rob Turney. While she is questioning her future with Rob, there was no mention of her reconnecting with Gabe. Sigh. It's not that I don't like Rob, he's an all-round great guy, I just preferred Gabe. But then, there is always the next book... I guess we’ll see where Henderson takes us next! Can’t wait for the next ride!!! I received an ARC of this book with the hope that I will leave an Unbiased Opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that... my opinions.
Two intricately woven mysteries! I love the two main characters in this wonderful story. They are so well developed that I felt emotionally connected to them and the issues they were each dealing with in their personal lives. Their camaraderie as they worked their respective cases was incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that that they were able to discuss their belief in God and encourage each other in trusting Him. The mysteries had me guessing all the way through the book. I was fascinated by all of the detail as to how a cold case would be worked. It was fun to see that both David and Evie had their own way of looking at it and they were both very successful in their chosen careers. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
Threads of Suspicion, An Evie Blackwell Cold Case by Dee Henerson, published by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group Henderson has a new fan. I’ve never read any of her work, and although I wondered about such a large book, over 400 pages soft cover, I was ready to see how this cold case was solved. I was pleased to see that it was not just one, but several cases, as a new task force was put together to solve cold cases in Illinois. The book focuses on Evie Blackwell and her new partner David Marshal and the two cases they have individually taken on. While focusing primarily on their own assigned cases, they help each other as they can and the reader witnesses the growing friendship as the two strong Christians deal with the law enforcement careers they’ve chosen. Both believers are dealing with personal relationships that test their faith and commitment to God and to the people in their lives that love them. This book not only dealt with the personalities and challenges of the people that intertwine in the story, it explores the procedures of research, interviewing and brainstorming as old case files are re-examined to try to determine if something might have been missed, or if a trail that was left unfollowed comes to light to fresh eyes. Henderson clearly illustrated that the passing of time can be essential in closing a cold case because so many things change. People can be more open to discussing what happened, and continued acts of violence might be connected to ultimately solve cold cases, and clues that went nowhere suddenly can connect with new facts. This is what I call a thinking book. One you find yourself trying to brainstorm right along with the characters. It is also a solid example of the reality of being a devoted follower of Christ in a world of conflict. If that’s your type of story, get this book and enjoy it. I'm planning on reading more about Evie Blackwell and will be checking out more of Henderson's books. **Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House for the purpose of writing a book review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
With this second Evie Blackwell Cold Case book I am even more enthralled with this new series. With the governor's Missing Persons Task Force up and running Evie finds herself in the outskirts of Chicago on her next case. This time around she has a new partner, David Marshal. David and Evie have two completely different cases but use their skills to help each other out on their assigned missing person. We also get to catch up a little with some of the other members of the team as they pop in and out of the storyline. I love a good mystery and that includes cozy mysteries. This series is definitely not cozy and does lean heavily towards suspense. Evie is very thoughtful and thorough in her approach to solving the mystery of the missing person. I enjoy reading about how she methodically plots out the case and then dives in to hunt down each piece seeing if it fits or not. Evie's new partner, David, takes a very different approach to solving his missing person case and it is fascinating to watch the two use their skills to help the other one out. There's also a secondary ongoing storyline that involves Evie and her past. She's seriously involved with Rob, who is seemingly the perfect match for Evie, but something just won't let her commit. With this second book a bit more of her past is revealed so we get a bit more information on her commitment issues. I'm looking forward to future books to find out what all has happened to mold her into who she is. If you like a story that builds in intensity right up to the very end you'll get it in Threads of Suspicion. I thought it was a fast read because the plot just kept uncovering more and more details that lead further and further down a sinister road. By the end I was reading and flipping pages as fast as I could. It was a completely satisfying read and I'm anxiously awaiting the next installment. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Threads of Suspicion is a part of Evie Blackwell Cold Case series. Written by Dee Henderson, it continues the series with Evie Blackwell's appointment to the new Missing Persons Task Force. It is made up of others with excellent reputations. Her new partner is David Marshal and they are each working separate cases in Chicago. They each have their own investigative styles which produce results. Evie is looking for a missing college student and brings old feelings to the surface. David is looking for a private investigator. Having read several of Dee Henderson's books in the past, I knew it would be engaging from the beginning. This is the first in this series which I have read, but I was pulled in from the first chapter. It was interesting to see how the cases of the two investigators intertwined and how they affected their personal lives. This book was eye-opening to some of the behind-the-scenes work of those who do this type of job. I truly enjoyed this novel. I was given this book by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
Threads of Suspicion is a enduring book you want to settle down and get ready for a major ride. A ride that has twist and turns. Yes but it also goes upside down in a heartbeat and with you unawares. Meanwhile you have your romantic partner there making sure you feel safe. That is how you feel reading this book, romantic, safe, with some mysterious vibes that smacks you in the face and surprises the crap out of you, but you enjoy it then you get upset because you find you are at the end of the book and you cannot wait until you find out that Ms. Henderson wrote another one.
This book has been aptly titled as the solving of a cold case involves pulling at threads until they find the loose ones. Some of them will be dead ends, but others will reveal the clues and unravel the case, bringing these unsolved cases to a close. The newly commissioned Cold Case Task Force includes Lt. Evie Blackwell and a cast of professional law enforcement personnel. Their goal is to close cases and bring justice and closure to the families of the victims. The story moves along quickly, with many theories and leads that will keep readers guessing along with the detectives. There are a few surprises which lend interest and entertain readers. Main characters David and Evie each have an unresolved love interest and a deep faith in God. As they work the case, they both get insights into their individual relationship situations. Threads of Suspicion meets expectations by readers of Dee Henderson’s books. It is the second in the series, but stands alone nicely and the characters quickly become familiar and developed. This is a tough book to put down. Readers will burn some midnight oil trying to work the case with the detectives. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for the purpose of honest review and I recommend it to adult and teen readers who enjoy a good mystery.
My thoughts: I have been a long-time fan of Dee Henderson's books eagerly anticipating each new release in a series beautifully connected. Her writing skills and story telling expertise render a reader's experience that is full blow enjoyment. Usually entailing her writings with matters of suspense and criminal investigation, the reader's ride through the pages is hard to stop until the very last page of text has been consumed. In her new series featuring Evie Blackwell and her cast of cohorts in crime solving, book one titled Traces of Guilt begins Evie's adventures as a member of a special task force charged with examining Cold Cases. The task force continues to look into several cold cases in Threads of Suspicion where she works closely with David as they pursue connections for each of their assigned cases and find that often one clue leads to an entirely different case. I found the first half of this Henderson book less enjoyable than her previous publications. Usually, the story and action grab your attention right from the beginning and the reader finds it difficult to put it aside. With Threads of Suspicion I found myself struggling to "break ground" with the process of the story. I don't know if this is the fault of too little editing or the fault of this reader's own lack of attention at the time of reading. Whatever, I did continue because I felt that Henderson would have a real story and a real twist worthy of pursuing. I was not disappointed as the ending action and case solved led to a satisfactory conclusion to all the threads pursued during the investigation of these varied cold cases. DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given.
This is a great mystery story, by Dee Henderson, about Lieutenant Evie Blackwell and the new Chicago based cold case detectives. Her partner is David and is the boyfriend of the famous Triple M Band singer Maggie May McDonald. The entire force is give a case or two to solve for the next several months. David is assigned the cold case of Saul Morris, a private investigator gone missing while conducting a case. Evie is assigned the case of Jenna Greenhill, a college girl that went missing after a concert. Here are a few questions to consider for the case: do you think Jenna and Saul are alive or not? If not, who do you think killed them? Will Maggie be in danger or the next victim? But there is so much more to this story than just the case. The personal relationships that Evie and David have are on edge too and need to have a resolution so everyone, including themselves can move on with life. Honest thoughts about the book: When I first started reading the book, I was not so sure about it. I've read several mystery novels recently and they haven't been too catchy. However, I opened my mind and discovered how much I was really enjoying this book. It was a great book, and I did enjoy it every much. It made me miss my favorite detective show CASTLE, though. One thing I will mention about the book that got to me was that it was a cliffhanger. I need more about Evie Blackwell and her partner David. UGH!!! There are so many unanswered questions. I need more, but for now I'll have to wait. :-) Lastly, I want to mention, that I received this digital ebook for my honest opinion from the Baker Publishing Group. I really enjoyed the book once I got into the story.
Evie Blackwell has succeeded in securing a coveted appointment to the governor’s Missing Persons Task Force and is ready to get started. She has her work cut out for her as she seeks to find out what happened to a female college student who went missing about eight years earlier. Evie is teamed with David Marshal who is tasked with determining what became of a private investigator who disappeared sometime after Evie’s missing person. Quite unlike many romance novels, Evie and David are not dancing around trying to decide if they are attracted to each other and all of the drama that seems to be a part of those stories. They are each already in a relationship. Evie’s boyfriend is ready to get married but she is not and has yet to figure out why not. David and his girlfriend would already be married except for the fact that he has surrendered his life to Christ and his girlfriend has not. He believes what the Bible teaches about not being unequally yoked with an unbeliever. I loved the emphasis the author placed on this key aspect of their relationship. Some would tend to ridicule the stand David had taken while I applaud him for doing the right thing. Another aspect I enjoyed were the conversations Evie had with God. The suspense surrounding the search for clues about the missing persons kept building from the opening pages right up to the end of the book. So many threads appeared that kept them busy sorting through to find the right one to pull. At times the action was rather intense but things would calm back down for a while. If you love mystery and suspense with some romance and faith added in, I believe you will enjoy this book. One other facet I enjoy about Dee Henderson’s books is that she often includes a few key characters from her previous novels in her new stories. As I read along, I feel like I am revisiting some old friends.
When I saw this book description offered by Bethany House I knew I had to request. Christian fiction - win. Mystery - win. Cold case files - bonus. I knew it was the second book in a series but since I was getting the eBook version through NetGalley I decided that if I started it lost I'd set it aside and grab the first book before reading and reviewing. And while I know there is crossover with previous character development it worked just fine on it's own so I just kept on reading. Knowing full well I'll go back and grab the first book too, because I can and want to. Not have to mind you but want to. As I was reading I didn't expect to get so caught up in the lives of all those involved. Evie with her boyfriend and her hard decisions about taking the next step. David and his super famous fiance and their hard decisions about taking the next step. The cold cases they were working and the lives that were changed because of what happened, and never knowing for sure what happened. The way their totally unrelated cases overlapped into each other and intertwined with their personal lives. All of it was engaging. Which makes me wonder how on Earth anyone can write a synopsis of a mystery that is engaging without giving anything away? I feel like I always miss the mark but gravy if I'm throwing out spoilers! There were a couple of drawbacks for me in this book, outside a mostly positive overall experience. First, at times the faith in the book felt awkward. Even the times where it fit into the story so well it took an awkward feel to it as though 'I've got to get as much in here as possible so if a little is good a lot is better'. That approach is sorta like salt and cooking. When it's the right amount in the right food it's perfect. A lot doesn't make it better. And even a little in the wrong thing doesn't work either. It wasn't a huge negative but I think the edges could have been smoothed a bit. The other biggie was the lack of scene segues or even just scene breaks period. A conversation one day goes right into another thought the next day. An inner monologue between two different days doesn't really do it either. I'd have to go back and reread a paragraph or two just to make sure I hadn't totally missed something. I didn't it just didn't break naturally. So, that out of the way lets talk good stuff. And good stuff there is. Henderson does an amazing job of writing a mystery with real people and real lives that draws you in. I care about these characters, I care about their victims and I care about their lives. And when the mysteries were solved I was taken right into it. Evie's mystery? Kept me guessing right up to the end. Though how on earth those bones weren't found on accident during a scuffle or some roughhousing (I guess you have a baby spoiler there) I will never understand. They just appeared too easily for how little physical effort it took. But it took me through to the very end. That makes an amazing mystery to me! Like I said, this book had characters that I engaged with and I can't wait to go back and read the first book. And the upcoming books in this series! I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House and NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
This is the second Evie Blackwell story, and I was a bit disappointed. This book didn't hold my attention as well as other books written by Henderson. While I have read the previous book, I didn't feel as connected to the characters. Evie Blackwell has been assigned to the Missing Persons Task Force. She is partnered with David Marshall to solve two cold cases from the same county but are thought to be unrelated. Evie's case is about a young college co-ed who turned up missing after a concert. David's case is about a missing private detective. Through many twists and turns of the plot, Evie and David find clues to link these cases together. David and Evie work diligently to solve their mysteries. After pulling on different strings, the right one is found that unravels the mystery. There are things in both David and Evie's lives that need to be resolved, so you know there is at least one more book to be written. While the characters are fully developed, the story didn't move fast enough for me. I was able to put the book down and walk away from it. Usually I can't put the book down, and I finish it over two days. This book is about solving some mysteries, without the romance. Yes there are couples in the book, but they are maintaining a relationship instead of building one from scratch. I missed this. Henderson still has her characters struggling with issues. David's girlfriend isn't a believer, but we see her questioning if God is real at the very end of the story. She hasn't made a decision yet, so that may come in the next installment. Evie is close to accepting a proposal, but again it isn't for sure before the book comes to a close. Hopefully the next book will bring about some of these resolutions. While this book isn't going into one of my favorites, I look forward to the next installment to see if I like that book better than this one. My thanks to Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley for the free e-copy of the book in exchange for my review.