cover image A Desperate Place: A McKenna and Riggs Novel

A Desperate Place: A McKenna and Riggs Novel

Jennifer Greer. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64385-384-0

Crime journalist Greer’s fine debut and series launch introduces reporter Whit McKenna and medical examiner detective Katie Riggs. Whit, a former war correspondent for the L.A. Times, was on assignment in Afghanistan with her photojournalist husband when he was killed. Suffering from PTSD, she left the Times after a much publicized emotional breakdown and is now a general reporter for the Medford, Ore., Daily Chronicle. Katie, a cancer survivor, has transferred from the violent crime division of the Medford PD to the ME’s office. Whit is on the scene of a fire that killed wealthy attorney Robert Delano when she gets a call to check out reports of a body partially buried in a shallow grave in the woods. The victim turns out to be a popular actor. Then a local TV host is also found dead in her swimming pool. The tension builds as Katie and Whit each investigate the crimes in their own ways. These distinctive leads occasionally swap information, until they find a horrifying connection among the victims. The friendship between the two strong female protagonists rings true; with their difficult pasts, they can empathize with the plights of others, while maintaining their almost obsessive need to discover the truth. Readers will look forward to their future exploits. Agent: Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (July)