Finished July 21
Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag, read by Kirsten Potter
This mystery novel is set in the town of Oak Knoll, California in 1986. A local artist, Marissa Fordham has been found brutally murdered,stabbed dozens of times, with her 4-year-old daughter strangled and left for dead. Except that young Haley survived.
In this time before many of the scientific tools available now, the police have less to go on in terms of evidence. Young Haley is severely traumatized and when led to her memories of the attack refers to the murderer as "bad daddy". But no one seems to know who Haley's father really is, and she seems to call nearly everyone she meets "daddy".
Anne Leone, child advocate, takes Haley into her home and works carefully to heal Haley, as she recovers from her own recent close call with murder. But will this put both of their lives into more danger?
Her new ex-FBI husband Vince, now a consultant, has volunteered his services to the local police and works closely with the lead officer Tony Mendez.
Marisa's sponsor, Milo Bordain, is a self-centered woman who is used to telling others what to do. She is horrified at the murder and tries to get custody of young Haley, despite her lack of mothering instinct.
A good friend of Marisa's Zander Zahn is a well-known math professor, but comes across as odd due to his autism and quirky collections. He is the one who discovers her body, and it seems to have brought back painful memories of his own.
Marisa's best friend Gina is devastated by the loss of her friend, but still seems to be hiding something from the police. Will she survive to tell the tale?
Lots of interesting characters, lots of twists and turns to this plot.
I had already read the book before this one Deeper than the Dead, and it was interesting to see how the characters from that novel were a few months down the road.