Broken Places by Tracy Clark Broken Places by Tracy Clark
Narrator: Shari Peele
Series: Cass Raines #1
Published by Recorded Books on May 29, 2018
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
Length: 12 hrs 58 mins
Pages: 368
Format: Audiobook
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four-stars

Former cop Cass Raines has found the world of private investigation a less stressful way to eke out a living in the Windy City. But when she stumbles across the dead body of a respected member of the community, it’s up to her to prove a murderer is on the loose . . .

Cops can make mistakes, even when they’re not rookies. If anyone knows that it’s Cass Raines, who took a bullet two years ago after an incompetent colleague screwed up a tense confrontation with an armed suspect. Deeply traumatized by the incident, Cass resigned from the Chicago PD, leaving one less female African-American on the force. Now she’s the head of a one-woman private investigation agency, taking on just enough work to pay the bills. She spends the rest of her time keeping an eye on the tenants in her little Hyde Park apartment building, biking along the lakefront, and playing chess with the only father figure she’s ever known, Father Ray Heaton.

When Father Ray asks Cass to look into a recent spate of vandalism at his church, she readily agrees to handle the case. But only hours later she’s horrified to discover his murdered body in the church confessional, a dead gangbanger sprawled out nearby. She knew Pop, as she called him, had ticked off plenty of people, from slumlords to drug dealers and even some parishioners and politicians, with his uncompromising defense of the downtrodden. But a late-night random theft doesn’t seem like much of a motive at a cash-strapped parish like Saint Brendan’s.

The lead detective assigned to the case is all too ready to dismiss it as an interrupted burglary gone awry, just another statistic in a violent city. But Cass’s instincts tell her otherwise, and badge or no badge, she intends to see justice done . . .

Cass is angry. Angry that Father Ray, Pop, is dead. Angry that an incompetent detective has caught the case and is ready to dismiss it as a murder/suicide, which Cass knows is not true. Cass is determined to get to the truth, no matter how many favors she has to call in. She’s also got some friends who are ready to back her up no matter what.

Broken Places is a riveting story full of action, but Cass isn’t the loner she may seem to be. Yes, she’s tough and willing to do things on her own, but she’s got some loyal friends, both in the police force and on the other side of the law. She’s brave and stubborn, but also vulnerable at times. She cares about people, her friends, the homeless man she meets, her former partner. I’m hoping though that she gets a little more time to be a person in the next entry in the series. This first time around, she is constantly going, bent on, maybe not revenge, but something close. I do think Cass makes some questionable decisions, but grief affects us all in different ways. Overall, I enjoyed this one a lot. I’m looking forward to reading more in the series, but maybe not immediately. There’s more violence; it’s just darker than a lot of books I’ve read recently.

About Tracy Clark

Tracy Clark is a native Chicagoan who writes mysteries set in her hometown while working as an editor in the newspaper industry. She is a graduate of Mundelein College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she earned her MA.

Since reading her first Nancy Drew mystery, Tracy has dreamed of crafting mysteries of her own, mysteries that feature strong, intelligent, independent female characters, and those who share their world. Cass Raines, ex-cop turned intrepid PI, is such a character.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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