cover image The Third Grave

The Third Grave

Lisa Jackson. Kensington, $27 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2224-9

When the skeletal remains of two bodies and what appears to be an empty grave are found in a secret crypt in the cellar of a decaying Savannah, Ga., mansion in bestseller Jackson’s workmanlike fourth Pierce Reed/Nikki Gillette novel (after 2013’s Tell Me), police detective Pierce investigates. The bodies are soon identified as the Duval sisters, Holly, 12, and Poppy, 10, who disappeared 20 years earlier, along with their four-year-old sister, Rose. Pierce’s ambitious, strong-willed wife, Nikki, a reporter for the Savannah Sentinel, immediately begins peppering her husband with questions about the case, as it “might be the story that could jump-start her career and she could kiss the Sentinel goodbye forever.” Nikki pursues the story doggedly, taking such risks as jumping into swamps full of alligators and running through densely wooded areas in the dark. Readers should be prepared for some clichéd prose (“His jaw clenched and his heart was cold as ice”). Series fans, though, may enjoy catching up with Pierce and Nikki.[em] Agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (July) [/em]