Title: The Trapped Girl
Author: Robert Dugoni
Series: Tracy Crosswhite #4
Date Read: 3 April 2017
When a woman’s body is discovered submerged in a crab pot in the chilly waters of Puget Sound, Detective Tracy Crosswhite finds herself with a tough case to untangle. Before they can identify the killer, Tracy and her colleagues on the Seattle PD’s Violent Crimes Section must figure out who the victim is. Her autopsy, however, reveals she may have gone to great lengths to conceal her identity. So who was she running from?
After evidence surfaces that their Jane Doe may be a woman who suspiciously disappeared months earlier, Tracy is once again haunted by the memory of her sister’s murder. Dredging up details from the woman’s past leads to conflicting clues that only seem to muddy the investigation. As Tracy begins to uncover a twisted tale of brutal betrayal and desperate greed, she’ll find herself risking everything to confront a killer who won’t go down without a deadly fight.
The Trapped Girl was a roller coaster of a ride for me. I’m not exactly good at solving mystery novels, but recently I’ve become a bit more adept at figuring them out than I used to, at least partially. This one had so many curve balls that I kept second guessing myself so that when the killer was finally revealed at the end, I couldn’t help but shouting What?! inside my head.
Of course, there is a murder that needs to be solved, but the identity of the murdered isn’t what it appears to be at first. As Tracy Crosswhite works to find the culprit, she finds herself having slid down the rabbit hole of greed, lies, and identity fraud. We have a woman who inherited a trust fund from her deceased parents with a horrible past, a husband who is abusive and dips into fraudulent claims, an aunt apparently estranged, a not so best friend, and a police officer with impure intentions. Each character has a reason for wanting certain characters dead and to decipher the truly innocent from the guilty is often intertwined.
This book is enjoyable to me because I feel the characters are well fleshed out. Tracy’s obsession with the murder makes people question her because they know she’s seeing her sister in each murder. Even the innocent people are not so innocent and you’re given their backgrounds to why they have motive. You can see these people as people who could have existed and featured on a Dateline exclusive.
The major complaint I have with this books is the culprit. When the killer was finally revealed, I had a hard time connecting him to all the major plot points that pointed to him and how he fit into the big picture. Maybe I missed that piece of information, but I didn’t catch it in the beginning and I was left feeling confused.
If you enjoy a good mystery and suspense, but are tired of seeing the typical tropes of the genre, I’d recommend reading this book as well as the other Tracy Crosswhite books. She’s a likeable character and easy to connect with. Dugoni goes above and beyond in creating detailed stories that will leave you feeling satisfied with the outcome hungry from more in the series.