Thursday, August 10, 2017

ARC Review: Among the Dead by J. R. Backlund

Among the Dead
Author: J. R. Backlund
Series: A Rachel Carver Mystery
Publication: Crooked Lane Books (August 8, 2017)

Description: Ex-SBI agent Rachel Carver must hunt a group of killers on her own before time runs out in this gripping debut.

Former North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent Rachel Carver blames herself for the collateral death of an innocent woman in her last case. Unable to accept her superior’s attempts to cover up the incident, she turned in her badge. But when a former partner asks her to consult on a new murder case, she reluctantly agrees, traveling to a small, remote mountain community, where she’s tasked with leading a group of inexperienced detectives on a hunt for the killer. The trek has hardly begun when what seems to be the act of a loner proves to be much more as Rachel's team comes under attack―and a detective is killed in the fallout.

Now that the stakes have risen, Rachel’s old employers at the SBI step in to take over the investigation. But Rachel, convinced they are on the wrong track, continues to work the case alone. And just as she delves into the town’s past, she discovers a secret history that connects the victims―one that makes her the target of a man who would kill to keep it a secret.

My Thoughts: Rachel Carver has quit the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation after she shot and killed a woman in the course of an investigation. Her superiors quickly closed the case by stating that the woman was guilty of killing her boyfriend. Rachel had her doubts and quit. She's been watching the woman's small child and stoking her own guilt.

When Rachel gets a call from an old friend to help in an investigation in rural North Carolina, she agrees. There her job is to make sure that the police force crosses its t's and dots its i's so that the case isn't thrown out of court. The Chief of Police is under pressure from the town council who wants to fire him.

The case quickly gets complicated when one victim becomes two and then three and the SBI gets involved. Their focus turns to meth labs which Rachel doesn't think actually has anything to do with the murders. Soon Rachel is working around the SBI and even the department that hired her to find out the truth about the murders

Rachel is an interesting character. She is an excellent investigator who tends to get too involved in her cases to the detriment of all the other parts of her life. I liked her and her obsession with energy drinks.

I thought the mystery was nicely twisty. I recommend this book to people looking for a woman sleuth and an interesting mystery.

Favorite Quote:
She looked over her shoulder and bounced ont the balls of her feet like a small child needing a potty break. "She made me promise that, if I saw you here, I'd tell you...I mean, it ain't me sayin' it...but she said for me to tell you that you all should be out tryin' to find that murderer instead of sittin' here eatin' barbecue."

Braddock laughed. "Is that exactly how she said it?"

Amber looked around nervously. "Not exactly. She said you should be out tryin' to find that muderer instead of sittin' her stuffin' your faces."

"Yeah, that sounds more like her."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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