P.J. Tracy “seems to have found her literary sweet spot” (New York Times Book Review) with her dazzling new series, and in Desolation Canyon, fans get a deeper look into the complex characters who call Los Angeles home.
LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan is struggling to move forward after the death of her brother in Afghanistan and taking a life in the line of duty. Her stoic parents offer little support – they refuse to address anything difficult, and she’s afraid their relationship is eroding beyond the point of recovery.
The days off are the hardest, because they give Margaret time to think. A moment of weakness leads to cocktails with a colleague—an attraction she knows could be dangerous —at the luxurious Hotel Bel-Air bar. A stroll through the grounds leads to a grim discovery beneath the surface of Swan Lake: the body of a successful attorney who made his fortune in international trade.
It initially appears to be death by misadventure, but the case is anything but straightforward. As a series of shocking revelations emerge, Nolan finds herself confronting a sinister cabal that just might destroy her and everyone she loves.
Quirky, damaged characters drive bestseller Tracy's outstanding sequel to 2021's Deep into the Dark. LAPD Det. Margaret Nolan is still carrying guilt from a line-of-duty shooting. Afghan War vet Sam Easton's PTSD is stirred when he hears rifle shots while jogging in Desolation Canyon near Death Valley. Nolan's mother, grieving the combat death of her soldier son, goes on a spiritual retreat at the wilderness compound of the Children of the Desert. Father Paul, the sect's charismatic leader, is so outraged that his consort, Marielle, has fled with their daughter that he recruits a cold-blooded killer familiar with the preacher's earlier criminal identity as Roger "Snake" Jackson to help recover his "stolen property." Meanwhile, Nolan's investigation into a corpse dumped in the swan pond at the Hotel Bel-Air leads her to confront an ex-KGB crime boss and to ponder how the kidnapping of the murder victim's son decades ago could have consequences today. All these plot elements come neatly together as the tension builds along with Father Paul's drug-fueled paranoia. Tracy should win new fans with this vivid, twisty crime novel. Agent: Ellen Geiger, Frances Goldin Literary.
Second in this series and an excellent addition. This story had a twist that keeps the reader interested and involved. Deception, drama, angst, mystery and violence are part of this intensely riveting book. Grab this one, well worth the time.