River of Lies - R. M. Greenaway

Woo hoo! I’m back in one of my favourite cities to catch up with RCMP officers Cal Dion & Dave Leith. If you haven’t read this series before, it can be enjoyed on a couple of different levels. Each book contains a stand alone investigation & works as a straight up police procedural. But you’ll get maximum bang for your buck by reading them in sequence as there’s a running back story that continues to evolve with each book.

 

So…a little history. Cal Dion was a hotshot detective until an accident derailed his life. Two years ago he was cruising around with his partner Luciano Ferraro when they were hit by another car. Ferraro died & Cal woke up with a broken brain. Memory, cognitive skills, personality…he’s literally not the man he was. His return to the job was a hard earned milestone but he’s well aware some of his coworkers have questions. What happened that night? Why were he & Ferraro in that particular area? And what’s up this rumour about a body?

 

As the books progress we get a slow drip of details about what Cal did & suffice to say it’s still dogging his every step. His boss Sergeant Mike Bosko is quietly investigating him & has roped in Dave Leith to help gather information. Which is a tad awkward seeing as Leith is now Cal’s partner. At the end of the last book, Bosko was contacted by someone claiming to know what happened the night of the accident. So it’s a good thing I didn’t receive a physical copy of this one….I probably would have ripped the cover off to get at the story.

 

In the here & now Cal, Dave & colleague J.D. Temple catch 2 cases in quick succession. A young woman’s body has been found behind a school. She was the janitor there & it’s not long before they have a couple of good candidates as suspects. Then a toddler goes missing from her crib while the adults were having a dinner party upstairs. The parents are divorced & the mother has remarried but it turns out her ex was also in the house that day. Holy Hannah, referring to these 2 as the Bickersons doesn’t even begin to describe the dynamics & the most challenging part for the cops may well be to stop them killing each other.

 

J.D. takes over the school related death & discovers a fun fact while questioning some students. Well, looky here…turns out a couple of them have connections to the house that’s currently missing one toddler.

 

What follows is a complex story full of twists, red herrings & multiple subplots. Along with the investigations we get caught up with the regular characters’ personal lives & relationships. Leith is in a bit of a funk & regrets agreeing to be the fox in the henhouse. Meanwhile, Bosko is always lurking in the background (that guy makes me so nervous).

 

And poor Cal…he’s still desperately trying to be the man he was. He has a million little tricks to camouflage his spotty memory & personality tics but it’s starting to take a toll. A little birdie told him about Bosko’s private investigation & keeping his guard up around the office is exhausting.

 

As for the ending, all I’ll say is the fate of one character in particular cut me off at the knees. There are plenty of surprises in store & the author saves the best for last. Yup, she did it again. Now I’m back on pins & needles waiting for the next one. Better make it an ebook….otherwise the cover might not survive.