Sunday , April 21 2024
A small town's secrets cost the life of a young teen.

Book Review: Revelations by Laurel Dewey

As Sergeant Detective Jane Perry listens to her diagnosis – possible cervical cancer – she is devastated. Having made significant life style changes recently, including sobriety, the diagnosis is unexpected. Having to wait on another set of tests puts her over the edge, and she decides to spend some time away from her job in homicide. As she gets to the office to leave a note of her intentions, her partner Weyler stops her. They have just landed the case of a missing 15-year-old boy. Since the case is outside their jurisdiction, she does not understand why they have snagged it. Weyler informs her that the Sheriff is close to retirement and an old friend, one who has asked for his help on the case. He is looking for closure before retirement.

Jane and Weyler are close, but she does not feel she can share her news. It is personal and private to her, something she struggles with. She is a private person who continually finds herself in the public eye based on the media she has received in several past cases. Often just her appearance creates a bit of media frenzy. Already feeling vulnerable and exposed, she hopes to be able to bypass this particular issue. But Weyler insists that he needs her special kind of thinking. Without going into detail, she does not feel she can turn him down.

Jacob Van Gorden has disappeared from the town of Midas, just Northwest of Denver, a place full of secrets. They have the perpetrator in mind, a man just recently released from prison for the murder of a young mentally challenged man in the 1960’s. Jordan Copeland looks good for the take, yet it does not seem to fit his profile. Found covered in mud and blood, although the blood was his own, Jordan has no memory his whereabouts when Jacob went missing.

As Jane begins researching the case on Jordan Copeland, she realizes she must go through microfiche in the library due to the age of the actual crime. When she comes across a photo of her mother in Midas, she is confused. Setting the photo aside for later, she follows up on the information available, and finds it straightforward. When introduced to Weyler’s friend, Bo, she finds out quickly he is a good old boy, and is furious that Weyler has brought her in with him. Weyler stands his ground, but Jane understands she will have an uphill battle because the Sheriff has already decided what happened, and she expects her investigation will step on his toes.

What she discovers is that the secrets in Midas are deep, and not everything is what it seems. The lack of clues gives every indication that Jake is still alive, but the further she investigates Copeland, the more doubts she has of his involvement. Meeting Hank Ross, Jake’s boss and the local bar owner, Jane has somehow begun to lose her armor. Here is someone she finds comfort with, and yet even he is a suspect. Not even sure Jake was kidnapped; the whole town is in shock when his body turns up. What is the secret someone is willing to kill for, to keep hidden? Can she find the answers before it is too late?

Revelations by Laurel Dewey brings us another case with Jane Perry as the investigator. While she is still the nitty-gritty, in-your-face detective that we have come to expect of Dewey’s character, Jane is more introspective, less sure of herself. The initial diagnosis of cancer gives her a different view of life, so on her own she is much quieter. However, she still has the vinegar to mix it up and create hard feelings with everyone from the Sheriff to the Van Gorden family and to Jordan Copland, the primary suspect. Weaved throughout the investigation she finds out more about her own background and Dewey continues to bring in a bit of the paranormal that helps this work to stand on its own. Is the Sheriff hiding the identity of the real killer? And what is his relationship with Weyler?

Jordan becomes a main character in this novel; something about him does not ring true. Jane finds him to be intelligent and kind and yet he spent years in prison for a grisly crime. What is the true face of Jordan Copeland? He has a tendency to use riddles and create his own truths, so anything could happen when the real story emerges.

I really enjoy the style of Laurel Dewey’s writing. Her characters are strong and interesting, and her protagonist, Jane Perry is just plain gutsy. If you enjoy murder mysteries full of suspense with just a bit of the paranormal, you will enjoy her work. Revelations would make a great book club choice and a great addition to your library.

About Leslie Wright

Leslie Wright is an author and blogger in the Northwest.

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