For fans of Julia Keller and Sheena Kamal, All We Buried disturbs the long-sleeping secrets of a small Washington State mountain town.
Interim sheriff Elizabeth "Bet" Rivers has always had one repeat nightmare: a shadowy figure throwing a suspicious object into her hometown lake in Collier, Washington. For the longest time, she chalked it up to an overactive imagination as a kid. Then the report arrives. In the woods of the Cascade mountain range, right in her jurisdiction, a body floats to the surface of Lake Collier. When the body is extricated and revealed, no one can identify Jane Doe. But someone must know the woman, so why aren't they coming forward?
Bet has been sitting as the interim sheriff of this tiny town in the ill-fitting shoes of her late father and predecessor. With the nightmare on her heels, Bet decided to build a life for herself in Los Angeles, but now it's time to confront the tragic history of Collier. The more she learns, the more Bet realizes she doesn't know the townspeople of Collier as well as she thought, and nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover.
This well-crafted series launch from the pseudonymous Taylor (the Eddie Shoes mysteries as Elena Hartwell) introduces Bet Rivers, an LAPD detective who has returned to her hometown of Collier, Wash., population "less than a thousand," to be the new sheriff after the death of her ailing father, Sheriff Earle Rivers. The discovery of the body of a young woman floating in Lake Collier, wrapped in canvas, plunges Bet into her first murder investigation. The action starts slowly as Taylor skillfully sets the scene, describing the distinctive local landscape and the large cast of characters, past and present, one of whom may be a murderer. After a second woman's body is found in the lake, Bet shifts into high gear and uncovers secret caves, hidden gold, a hoarder's den, and old rivalries. Meanwhile, in an intriguing subplot, Bet's deputy plans to run for sheriff against her in the next election. The introspective, conflicted Bet proves her mettle. Readers will look forward to her next outing.
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ALL WE BURIED is a well-written novel featuring complex characters, a unique plot, and a fabulous setting. Taylor seamlessly weaves together the past and present in this intriguing mystery that kept me guessing until the end. A great start to what should prove to be an enjoyable new series.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book.