Chief Dove Carnahan hides a secret from her teen years, one that she hates thinking about, but it's brought fresh to the surface when her mother's killer is released from jail right after the body of a local girl is found burned and tossed into a sinkhole in an abandoned town. With limited resources and staff, Dove lets the state troopers lead the case, but she's going to work it side by side with her romantic interest and former boss.
Dove empathizes with the victim. For much of Dove's life, she was the child growing up in a poor family in a rural setting. She's determined to solve Camio's murder, even if it means going up against a family filled with criminals, all headed up by a bitter shrew of a matriarch.
It's been about 15 years since I've read Back Roads, one of Tawni O'Dell's novels, and it made me realize just how much I've been missing. Tawni O'Dell holds no punches. The backwoods Truly family creeped me out more than a little. Even the youngest Derk was a strange child and incredibly well developed to make you want to run far away while also fighting an urge to hug him and show him what a normal family is like.
I planned to read just one chapter, which turned into two, three, and then me taking the afternoon off of my other responsibilities with my online work. I couldn't walk away. I need to go back to the beginning, round up all of her books, and reacquaint myself with this small Pennsylvanian town and all of its quirky residents.