Thursday, March 17, 2016

ARC Review: Tumbled Graves by Brenda Chapman

Tumbled Graves
Author: Brenda Chapman
Series: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery (Book 3)
Publication: Dundurn (March 22, 2016)

Description: A missing child. A dead mother. Kala Stonechild is about to discover what one betrayal can lead to.

When Adele Delaney and her daughter, Violet, go missing, Jacques Rouleau is called upon to investigate. However, struggling with the impending death of his ill ex-wife, he sends Kala Stonechild and Paul Gundersund instead. Stonechild has been trying to adapt to life as her young cousin Dawn’s guardian, and even though Gundersund has offered support, Stonechild is at risk of losing custody.

On the second day of the investigation, Adele’s body turns up, dumped on the shoulder of the highway with no sign of her daughter. Her husband, Ivo, denies any involvement with either his wife’s death or their child’s disappearance, but not everyone is convinced. As the investigation unfolds, Stonechild learns that Adele was once entangled with a Montreal biker gang and heads to Quebec to investigate further.

As Stonechild and Gundersund juggle personal troubles and a complicated, dangerous case, they find themselves piecing together a chain of disasters leading back to a single betrayal.

My Thoughts: I have come into this series at the third book but didn't have any trouble following the story and the relationships. The case has to do with a missing mother and child. When Kala Stonechild begins to look into it, she isn't willing to take the easy way out and blame the husband Ivo Delaney. The more she looks the more she uncovers the tangled past of Adele Delaney which leads her into the shady bar scene in Montreal. The case becomes even more complicated when the mutilated body of Adele Delaney is found but her three-year-old daughter Violet is still missing - presumed drowned in the river behind the family home.

While investigating the investigators' personal lives all intrude. Rouleau, who is Stonechild's friend and mentor, is dealing with the final illness of his ex-wife who is in hospice care. Stonechild is getting used to being the foster parent of thirteen-year-old Dawn whose mother, now serving time in prison, was a childhood friend of hers. Both Stonechild and Dawn and quiet, solitary, and introspective. Stonechild is afraid that she won't be a successful foster parent because of her own past in foster care. And Stonechild's partner Gundersund is dealing with a marriage that is troubled and a wife who is also a co-worker. Since Gundersund would like to begin a relationship beyond their partnership, a jealous almost-ex-wife isn't a positive. Kala isn't willing to step between a man and his wife and isn't easily able to trust anyone. Then there is the jealous co-worker - Woodhouse - who wants Stonechild out of the police largely because she is good at the job and he isn't.

This was an engaging police procedural with nicely complex people. Fans of mysteries will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
She'd never put any stock in talking through feelings or blaming her childhood for current problems. Rehashing what happened from every pathetic angle seemed like a big wallowing waste of time. But now she had someone other than herself to consider. For the first time, she could admit that stoic denial might not be working.
I got this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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