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Nolan, Hart, and Tain are back in the follow-up to WHAT BURNS WITHIN.

A four year old boy had been beaten to death. His brother, a witness, says their older sister is the murderer and the sister is also missing. Hart and Tain get the case and are surprised when they arrrive at the family home to tell them the sad news, only to have the family lawyer up, refusing to cooperate.

As the investigation begins, mistakes are made, missing the fact that the sister had been to the hospital, severely beaten and stabbed, slipping away when the doctors backs were turned. Then a call says she’s been kidnapped and a million dollar ransom is wanted.

While this is going on, Nolan is sent to review an old case. A murderer has been paroled after ten years and is suing the RCMP for false arrest and conviction. Nolan is conflicted about the investigation and wants off it because one of the officers that made the original arrest and participated in the conviction was his father.

As the investigations progress, murders start to pile up, several breakins happen, evidence goes missing, police officers get assaulted.

This is Sandra Ruttan’s third novel(the first, SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES, was a standalone).

What I like about her novels is they are set in Canada. We get a look at police work that’s a bit different from what happens in this country. Her characters argue amongst themselves, have personal problems. You know, like real people.

She keeps the action moving and the pace picks up as the narrative goes along. As in the first book in the series, about halfway through, the action shifts into high and i couldn’t put the book down. I think I finished the second half in a few hours of non stop reading.

She has another winner here and if you like a good police procedural, it’s well worth checking out.

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