All the Secret Places: A Gin Sullivan Mystery by Anna Carlisle (Amazon)
Rating: Just Okay
Description: Gin Sullivan is back in Pittsburgh 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 All the Secret Places, Anna Carlisle's riveting second Gin Sullivan mystery.
Why I Picked This Book: I really like that the main character is from the medical examiner's office and that this seemed to focus on an older mystery.
My Impression: I wanted to like this one - I really really did. I love a medical examiner MC and am always on the lookout for one since Beverly Connor seems to have stopped writing my favorite Diane Fallon series a decade ago. This one sounded like it might fit the bill but it came up a little short. It isn't bad - in fact I found it incredibly readable with excellent pacing but I can't say I especially enjoyed it either..
I found it to be more character driven than I like my mysteries to be and to have serious leanings towards the overwrought side. Gin has a lot going on - she's recovering from a devastatingly personal case (book #1), trying to figure out her relationship with her parents, trying to determine what to do with her life, and navigate an increasingly complicated relationship with her former high school sweetheart/ current significant other Jake. There's also quite a lot of business trouble for Jake and political issues between Gin, Jake and the police department who were convinced Jake committed murder in the previous book.
While the mystery itself was solid I felt like it was overshadowed by the personal drama and conflict which kept me from fully enjoying this mystery. That said, this was an easy mystery to be pulled into. Even when I was irritated by Gin's or one of the other character's behavior I was never tempted to put the book down and I felt invested enough that I did want to see how everything worked out.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Probably not. While I do think there are a lot of positives in this book I don't think Carlisle is the author for me.
Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy a character led mystery I think you might enjoy this one.