Finding a tortured dead body hanging in a barn rattles county assessor Camille Waresch, but it doesn’t shock her. Struggling with PTSD, she thinks back to the other body she found. Her soldier. Her responsibility.
When she’s tapped by the medical examiner to help with the initial crime scene examination, Camille realizes though separated by years and thousands of miles, there are too many similarities in both deaths.
Though she’s warned several times, Camille continues with her own investigation. In her mind, she believes finding out what happened to the second victim will bring the justice the first victim never received, and bring her peace of mind. Her search for answers takes on new meaning when Camille learns her rebellious fifteen-year-old daughter, Sophie, knew the young man and is still involved with the acquaintances he left behind.
Told entirely from Camille’s point of view, Little Falls is an emotional read. Her mental anguish leaps off the page not just because of her military service, but guilt over the soldier she feels she didn’t do enough for; anger and frustration at the way the military treated her for wanting to do the right thing; and her own self-loathing for what she considers her personal failures, like motherhood.
Many around her think Camille is crazy… and sometimes even she believes she’s losing it. Her PTSD is extreme, but she’s not crazy. She could benefit from some long-term counseling, but she’s not crazy. And she’d probably refuse the counseling, anyway.
When Sophie goes missing, Camille isn’t just a mother looking for her child, but a soldier on a mission, and it is something to behold! The ending is good, with resolutions, but I feel bad for this fictional character who to me represents the veterans who never get the help they need.
A solid read with good writing and strong characters, Little Falls will appeal to readers of multiple genres, especially mystery and suspense.
She tried to forget the horrors of war–but her quiet hometown conceals a litany of new evils.
Sergeant Camille Waresch did everything she could to forget Iraq. She went home to Eastern Washington and got a quiet job. She connected with her daughter, Sophie, whom she had left as a baby. She got sober. But the ghosts of her past were never far behind.
While conducting a routine property tax inspection on an isolated ranch, Camille discovers a teenager’s tortured corpse hanging in a dilapidated outbuilding. In a flash, her combat-related PTSD resurges–and in her dreams, the hanging boy merges with a young soldier whose eerily similar death still haunts her. The case hits home when Sophie reveals that the victim was her ex-boyfriend–and as Camille investigates, she uncovers a tangled trail that leads to his jealous younger brother and her own daughter, wild, defiant, and ensnared.
The closer Camille gets to the truth, the closer she is driven to the edge. Her home is broken into. Her truck is blown up. Evidence and witnesses she remembers clearly are erased. And when Sophie disappears, Camille’s hunt for justice becomes a hunt for her child. At a remote compound where the terrifying truth is finally revealed, Camille has one last chance to save her daughter–and redeem her own shattered soul.
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