Title: All the Secret Places by Anna Carlisle
Gin Sullivan Mystery Series Book Two
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Gin Sullivan is back in her small hometown of Trumbull, Pennsylvania on an extended leave from her job at the Chicago medical examiner’s office and rekindling an old flame with her high school sweetheart, Jake. Gin is readjusting to life at home when Jake receives harrowing news early one morning. The new housing development his construction firm is building has caught fire and underneath one of the burnt homes is a dead body.
When the body is identified as a man who may very well be the violent offender who terrified Gin’s childhood town years ago, the pool of suspects broadens and it becomes a greater challenge to pinpoint his killer. Gin is determined to unearth old demons, hers included, but soon finds some people will kill to keep them buried.
Small town secrets cast daunting shadows in All the Secret Places, Anna Carlisle’s riveting second Gin Sullivan mystery.
All the Secret Places is an intriguing addition Anna Carlisle’s Gin Sullivan Mystery series.
Still on leave from her job as a medical examiner in Chicago, Gin is uneasily settling into life in her small hometown in Trumbull, PA. Having rekindled her romance with her former high school boyfriend, Jake Crosby, the couple are living together but Gin is concerned about the future of the relationship. During a fire at Jake’s construction site for an upscale home, firefighters unearth a badly decomposed body on the property. Gin is less than thrilled when abrasive Detective Bruce Stillman is assigned to the case and she is worried that his bias towards Jake will have a negative impact on the investigation. Will Gin, along with some help from the newly hired Trumbull Police Chief Tuck Baxter, find out the cause of the fire and the truth about the corpse before it is too late?
Gin and Jake’s relationship is already a little troubled and in the aftermath of the fire, the tension between them continues to grow. Communication is not exactly their strong suit so Gin is mostly in the dark about how things are going with Jake’s construction business. Although Jake knows she cannot discuss the case with him, he is very frustrated at not being kept in the loop. With so much dissent in her personal life, Gin is taken off guard by her unexpected attraction to Tuck who makes no secret of his interest in her.
Amidst all this uncertainty, Gin does everything she can to uncover the truth about what happened on Jake’s construction site. An uneasy evening with Jake’s construction foreman and his wife seemingly provides some much needed information about the fire. However, Gin is confused by contradictory details when she investigates the lead before taking the information to the police. The preliminary examination of the buried remains is somewhat discouraging but Gin notices some inconsistencies that she is hopeful will help Jake. However, she is disheartened by her inability to find the proof to back up her suspicions.
What should be a straight forward murder mystery becomes rather bogged done in Gin’s personal dramas, Detective Stillman’s lack of partiality and political posturing. Gin is also rather prone to jumping to conclusions and making impetuous, ill-thought out decisions that put her into dangerous situations. It is also somewhat frustrating (and a little unrealistic) that Jake is once again fighting to prove his innocence when he is at the center of another investigation.
Despite a few frustrations with the storyline and a somewhat slow start, All the Secret Places has plenty of unexpected twists and turns. Although the culprit for one of the mysteries is rather easy to figure out, the resolution of the other crime is quite unexpected. Old and new fans will enjoy this latest installment in Anna Carlisle’s Gin Sullivan Mystery series.