In The Clearing (Crosswhite #3) by Robert Dugoni

KK Conley Review

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In the Clearing is a double mystery from Robert Dugoni in the Tracy Crosswhite series. Tracy works with Kins Rowe, Del Castigliano, and Vic Fazzio as the Seattle Police Violent Crimes “A team.” Dugoni develops all four of the these characters into believable and sympathetic characters that I cared about.

The book opens forty years earlier with the report of missing nineteen-year-old Native-American girl who did not arrive home after leaving her job.

In present day, Tracy still uses her marksmanship skills to coach women recruits in the Seattle police department. One of these newer officers asks if Tracy would be willing to help her look at a reported suicide from forty years earlier that her father worked on. Of course, Tracy agrees.

Then her team catches a “grounder,” a case that appears to be an easy solve. But the case takes a turn when domestic killing involves the daughter and grandson of a defense attorney. An attorney that Seattle detectives cringe when they face him in trial because he almost always wins.

The tension mounts as Tracy and her colleagues pursue both cases. Once again, Dugoni has delivered.

Booklist Online Review

In the third Tracy Crosswhite mystery, the Washington State police detective is still trying to pull her life back together in the aftermath of her sister’s murder (My Sister’s Grave, 2014). When a friend asks Tracy to look into a cold case involving the decades-old suicide of a high-school student, Tracy doesn’t hesitate. Her investigation leads her to a small town, a nest of dark secrets, and the shocking discovery that a 40-year-old case isn’t as cold as she thought. As with the earlier Crosswhite books, the author favors character and solid storytelling over plot twists and frantic running about. Tracy is a well-crafted character; the cop with a troubled past is a staple of the mystery genre, but a good author can find variations on the theme, and Dugoni has found a few good ones. Readers of the first two books will enjoy this one, and, because it can be read as a stand-alone, newcomers can jump right in.

— David Pitt

©Booklist Online

Amazon Description & Rating

The gripping third book in the internationally acclaimed series by New York Timesbestselling author Robert Dugoni.

Detective Tracy Crosswhite has a skill, and a soft spot, for tackling unsolved crimes. Having lost her own sister to murder at a young age, Tracy has dedicated her career to bringing justice and closure to the families and friends of victims of crime.

So when Jenny, a former police academy classmate and protégé, asks Tracy to help solve a cold case that involves the suspicious suicide of a Native American high school girl forty years earlier, Tracy agrees. Following up on evidence Jenny’s detective father collected when he was the investigating deputy, Tracy probes one small town’s memory and finds dark, well-concealed secrets hidden within the community’s fabric. Can Tracy uphold the promise she’s made to the dead girl’s family and deliver the truth of what happened to their daughter? Or will she become the next victim?

Goodreads Rating

4.25 of 5 Stars, > 16,000 ratings

Author’s Description

Same as Amazon description

Book Trailer


A cold case preoccupies Tracy Crosswhite in Dugoni’s well-plotted third crime novel featuring the Seattle homicide detective (after 2015’s Her Final Breath). Klickitat County Sheriff Jenny Almond asks Tracy to take a look at a file that Jenny’s late father, retired sheriff Buzz Almond, held on to for 40 years. One night in 1976, high school senior Kimi Kanasket never made it home from the diner where she worked. Her body was later found in the White Salmon River, and her death was ruled a suicide. Buzz, then a deputy sheriff, did his duty by retracing Kimi’s route home, but he was later told by the detective in charge, Jerry Ostertag, to leave the investigation alone. In the present, Buzz’s file and the help of experts like senior crime scene analyst Kaylee Wright and forensic anthropologist Kelly Rosa put Tracy on the trail of four former high school football stars known as the Four Ironmen. Tracy displays ingenuity and bravery as she strives to figure out who killed Kimi. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (May)