Prather’s Pick: A novel solves cold cases
June 27, 2017
Cold cases are often in the news these days, and that's what this week's new novel for adults is all about. "Threads of Suspicion: An Evie Blackwell Cold Case" was written by Dee Henderson. The 2017 novel is published by BethanyHouse, a division of Baker Publishing Company.
In this novel, Governor Bliss, just inaugurated to his office, is at the podium during a press gathering to announce the creation of the Missing Persons Task Force. The task force will be led by Lieutenant Sharon Noble of the Riverside Police Department. Its purpose is to open up and solve cold cases across the state of Illinois.
Evie Blackwell, the leading character of the novel, has been chosen to serve on the task force. She and the others chosen will have to time share their usual jobs with the task force. In Evie's case her usual job is with the Illinois State Police's Bureau of Investigation.
Also on the Missing Persons Task Force are David Marshal (formerly a New York City cop), Theodore Lincoln, and Taylor Arms—and, of course, Sharon Noble.
Since Evie lives in the city, she invites the members of the task force to her home for a chili supper. That way they can get organized. First, the members must choose the cold cases that they will solve. The group narrows the cases to those in Briar County. Among names on the summary sheet are a private detective, a businessman, a wife and two daughters, and a college student.
Each task force member chooses a case. The plan is to work assigned cases both individually and as a group. David takes the PI; Evie chooses the college student. David and Evie will drive down to Ellis, site of these two missing persons cases where they will work in a special office suite, designed for their use.
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David and Evie are given boxes containing evidence for each case. David has seventeen boxes so he takes the conference room of the site. Evie has four boxes. They will go over records, conduct interviews, and visit places frequented by missing persons. Information will be recorded on white boards.
During breaks for meals, David and Evie discuss progress made in the cold cases. They also talk about their personal lives so the reader gets to know them (and other task force members). Sharon Noble will marry on April 27. David will marry celebrity singer Maggie when some religious issues are settled, and Evie has a marriage proposal waiting from Rob Turney when she is ready to say "yes."
Another important character in the book is Ann Falcon, a retired homicide cop and consultant with the FBI. Ann was instrumental in getting Evie the job on the task force, and Evie is destined to be Ann's replacement one day. Ann comes into the plot to help Evie with her research about the missing college student.
Among the information on Evie's white board is her missing person's name, Jenna Greenhill. She was last seen on October 17, 2007, at age 21.
This is a fascinating book with a plot that gets the reader involved in solving puzzles.
"Threads of Suspicion" costs $22.99 in hardcover or you can find it with new books at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries.