cover image By His Own Hand

By His Own Hand

Neal Griffin. Forge, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9558-0

Early in Griffin’s engrossing third police procedural featuring Det. Tia Suarez of the Newberg, Wis., PD (after 2016’s A Voice from the Field), Tia arrives at a crime scene in the woods, where the body of an unidentified teenager lies on the ground, his head nearly obliterated by a shotgun blast. The two officers already at the scene are sure the boy shot himself. Tia has enough doubt to call in an investigator from the medical examiner’s office, Livy Sorensen, who once on the scene concludes, as does Tia, that it’s a murder rigged to look like a suicide. Tia works hard to convince her skeptical police bosses that she’s right; fails to convince Livy’s boss, the deputy medical examiner; and butts heads with the firebrand preacher at the Church of the Rock, where the victim, eventually identified as 17-year-old Henry Tyler Hayes, was a participant at a retreat. Griffin, a 25-year law enforcement veteran, paints a vivid picture of the difficulties of police work, in particular the harassment Tia endures from her male colleagues on account of her gender. Agent: Jill Marr, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (Apr.)