Gin Sullivan is back in her small hometown of Trumbull, Pennsylvania on an extended leave from her job at the Chicago medical examiner’s office and rekindling an old flame with her high school sweetheart, Jake. Gin is readjusting to life at home when Jake receives harrowing news early one morning.
The new housing development his construction firm is building has caught fire and underneath one of the burnt homes is a dead body. When the body is identified as a man who may very well be the violent offender who terrified Gin’s childhood town years ago, the pool of suspects broadens and it becomes a greater challenge to pinpoint his killer. Gin is determined to unearth old demons, hers included, but soon finds some people will kill to keep them buried. Small town secrets cast daunting shadows in.
I seem to be on a roll lately – mysteries, thrillers and suspense novels have got my attention. Today’s post is a book review on All the Secret Places by Anna Carlisle. I didn’t realize this was book #2 of a series until after I finished the book, but it wasn’t relevant to me as this book is definitely a stand alone.
The story’s main character is Gin Sullivan, who came back to her hometown of Trumbull, Pennsylvania, and who was very important in solving the death of her little sister, Lily. While back in town, she rekindled her relationship with her high school sweetheart, Jake Crosby, but Gin seems to have trouble trusting and getting close after losing her sister.
All the Secret Places begins with Gin and Jake living together working on building a new relationship now that they are adults. Gin is a medical examiner currently on leave from her career in Chicago as a result of her sister’s death. She came back to assist in solving her sister’s death and never went back – sort of a temporary leave of absence. Jake is a building contractor who wants to make a name for himself as a builder. He took a big risk buying some land and is trying to build some very high priced exclusive homes with the hopes of attracting prestigious buyers from Pittsburgh. Jake is nearly exhausted financially as he has poured everything he has into the project.
Jake receives a phone call telling him that his project is on fire, only to arrive and learn that it was the first house in the project. If that news wasn’t bad enough, he then learns that the building site is actually a burial site for the remains of a body while the firemen are trying to divide the fire from the woods nearby. As we learn by the rudeness of the police officers at the scene, Jake had actually been a suspect in the disappearance and death of Gin’s sister and the police clearly haven’t forgotten it. They immediately begin to doubt the cause of the fire and get even more suspicious when it is discovered that the fire was caused by arson.
Unfortunately for Jake, the body is assumed to be a Civil War soldier which causes protesters to show up insisting that the land be declared a historical site which would cause Jake’s business to fail. In response to the allegations and possible detrimental impact to his career, Jake becomes very withdrawn and becomes secretive instead of sharing his feelings (and actions) with his partner, Gin.
As the new police chief shows up in the picture, Chief Baker seems to show quite the interest in Gin and she starts to question her relationship with Jake. Ultimately Gin chooses to repair her relationship with Jake by helping solve the crimes. Can Gin and Jake survive the stress of more trouble?
The body is later identified to be a man who was a childhood violent offender and it becomes very difficult to pinpoint who killed him. Since I don’t write spoilers, you’ll just have to see for yourself but a little secret – someone gets shot!
The story is fast paced and well written. The characters come to life and I was turning page after page to get to the bottom of the story. I’d definitely recommend this book for a great read!