“Exceptional…The action builds to an exciting showdown. Those who like their crime novels with a social conscience will be amply rewarded.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
Former homicide cop turned private investigator Cass Raines gets the job done in this page-turning Chicago-set novel from award-winning author Tracy Clark. For mystery/suspense fans as well as fans of Laura Lippman.
Chicago in the dead of winter can be brutal, especially when you’re scouring the frigid streets for a missing girl. Fifteen-year-old Ramona Titus has run away from her foster home. Her biological mother, Leesa Evans, is a recovering addict who admits she failed Ramona often in the past. But now she’s clean. And she’s determined to make up for her mistakes—if Cass can only help her find her daughter.
Cass visits Ramona’s foster mother, Deloris Poole, who is also desperate to bring the girl home. Ramona came to Deloris six months ago, angry and distrustful, but was slowly opening up. The police are on the search, but Cass has sources closer to the streets, and a network of savvy allies. Yet it seems Ramona doesn’t want to be found. And Cass soon begins to understand why.
Ramona is holding secrets dark enough to kill for, and anyone who helps her may be fair game. And if Ramona can’t run fast enough and hide well enough to keep the truth safe, she and Cass may both be out of time.
A potent mix of empathy and rage fuels Sue Grafton Award winner Clark's exceptional fourth Chicago mystery (after 2020's What You Don't See). After 15-year-old Ramona Titus runs away from her foster home one cold day before her recovering-addict mother, Leesa Evans, can reclaim her, PI Cassandra "Cassie" Raines takes the job of tracking down the girl. Almost everyone seems anxious to help save Ramona, including Deloris Poole, the loving foster mother she skipped out on, and retired police detective Frank Martini. Only child placement worker Ronald Shaw appears reluctant. After Cassie discovers that Ramona fled after furtively taking a picture of Poole, Martini, and Shaw conferring or conniving together, she sets out to find what the three are really doing with the teenage girls they're supposed to be protecting. Meanwhile, Cassie has a host of her own family crises to work through. The action builds to an exciting showdown between gutsy Cassie and the villains in a frozen forest outside the city. Those who like their crime novels with a social conscience will be amply rewarded.
Strong BLACK female PI in Chicago
This was a classic crime fiction novel. As someone who’s born and bred on the South Side of Chicago I LOVED this one. Knowing the streets and neighborhoods that Cass made this that much better. But if you’re not from Chicago I HIGHLY recommend.
Not only is Cass a strong female lead, but she is a strong BLACK female lead! I cannot tell you the last time I read a police procedural where a Black female was the sole main character of the book. Cass was strong, smart (street and book), funny and way ahead of all the other players in this book. She knew how to use her strengths and played them to her advantage.
In this book PI Cassandra Raines is asked to look for a missing girl - 15 year old Ramona. A black girl in the system, her recovering mother is worried the CPD is not doing everything they can to help find her daughter. With very little to go on Cass dives into Ramona’s life before she went missing. Cass comes across a loving foster mom, a overworked social worker and a retired CPD missing persons officer who all want to help out. But suddenly everyone becomes suspicious and Cass doesn’t know who to trust. She soon finds hers,Ed falling into a conspiracy bigger than she even thought as she picks up the breadcrumbs Ramona left behind.
I was hooked from the start. I had my suspicions along with Cass but found I could not not turn the page fast enough to find out how it all went down.
This is the fourth book in the series but I did not find the need to read the other three ahead of time aside from having more background info on Cass and her life growing up. I will absolutely be purchasing the rest in this series as well as any other books Clark has written.