Burning Proof – Janice Cantore – Cold Case Justice #2 – Tyndale House Publishers – Published 1 March 2016
After months of investigating the brutal homicide of a young girl, Detective Abby Hart finally has the evidence she needs. But when the arrest goes terribly wrong, Abby begins to doubt her future as a police officer. As she wrestles with conflicting emotions, old questions about the fire that took her parents’ lives come back to haunt her.
“There is proof.” PI Luke Murphy can’t stop thinking about what Abby’s former partner, Asa Foster, mumbled just before he died. When he uncovers a clue to the murder of Abby’s parents and his uncle, he’s reluctant to tell Abby, despite his growing feelings for the beautiful detective.
A decade-old abduction case brings Luke and Abby together, but will his secret tear them apart?
Non-stop action, case drama, clues and twists provide the perfect suspense for this utterly addictive book. With hints of romance and a solid basis in faith, this second book in the Cold Case Justice series continues all the excitement from book one with likeable characters and heart-wrenching cases.
With the cold case of the Triple Seven fire and murders having settled down somewhat, Detective Abby Hart has continued with other investigations, most recently the homicide of a young girl. But when the arrest goes horribly wrong Abby starts to question her future in the police force. Luke Murphy is continuing to solve cases in his PI business but can’t help following up the words Asa said before he died ‘there is proof’. When both new cases and cold cases throw up new clues and complications, Abby and Luke find themselves working together and unraveling more of the mystery around the fire that killed their family members.
The prologue helps to reorientate the reader, picking up where book one left off with the chasing of clues to the governor’s door where Gavin Kent kills himself before he can give a complete confession about his role in the Triple Seven restaurant fire that killed Abby Hart’s parents and Luke Murphy’s uncle. It didn’t take me long to remember what had transpired in Drawing Fire and get my head around the continuing story. This is the second book in the series, and so readers should start with book one as the storyline is continuous.
The crimes and case work is the focus of this book, and it’s certainly non-stop. It feels both realistic and exciting. This is one part of a series-long investigation of a cold-case, with a fair bit of action in between. There are a variety of cases investigated, from the Triple Seven fire, active cases and other cold cases. I enjoyed the mix of high-tension action and good old crime-fighting leg work. There is one seriously creepy perp who I couldn’t wait to see get arrested. Janice Cantore certainly knows what she is writing about and it makes for a very believable story. The last quarter really amps up the action and suspense, and everything gets a bit more complicated when the cases become entwined.
Faith is a fundamental aspect in the story, providing a nice background to the harsh reality of police work. While there are little hints of romance, it’s not a focus of the book. When the book starts, Abby is still engaged to Ethan and plans to ignore any feelings she may have for Luke. And by the end, I have to admit, that not a whole lot has changed. However, it’s nice to have a book that takes its time with the romance. I think I know what the final outcome will be, but it’s enjoyable to see the characters take each step seriously and not rush into anything. On the other hand, I did think certain characters were a bit slow on the uptake regarding their love lives, and I have to admit to wanting to sort it all out NOW for them. It will be great to see what happens in the next book.
The end of the book supplies a nice set of answers, some of which Abby and Luke have been desperately wanting regarding the Triple Seven case. But there is still more work to do, and the events are set up to provide a great third book, with plenty more action and suspense, and hopefully that romantic development we’ve all been waiting for.
This is a great second book in an engaging series. It is highly recommended for readers who love serious crime along with their suspense. Can’t wait for book three.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Christian suspense.
Themes: Death, crime, murder investigations, detective work, mystery, family, romance.
Published: 1 March 2016 by Tyndale House Publishers.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 400 pages.