Desolation Canyon by P.J. Tracy (Mystery)

Writing: 3/5 Plot: 4/5 Characters: 4/5

This is the second book in a new series from mother-daughter writing team, “P.J. Tracy,” and my first Tracy book ever. LAPD detective Margaret Nolan is about to enter a dangerous liaison at the swanky Hotel Bel-Air bar when she discovers the body of a wealthy man just below the surface of the hotel’s Swan Lake. In the meantime, a young woman and her daughter are desperate to escape a well-heeled religious community offering redemption retreats to the rich and famous in Death Valley. These two threads slowly merge with the help of the Russian mafia, some lovely ex-cons, and a decades old adoption ring.

Fast pacing, surprising plot twists, and just enough tension to make it interesting, but not enough to stress me out (very important!). Plenty of interesting characters, one of which was the suspect (obviously cleared) from the previous novel. I liked that the bad guys had as much depth as the good guys — they were definitely bad guys but you got a sense of their motivations and emotional state.

No need to have read the first book to fully enjoy this one (although I’ll probably go back and read it now).

Thank you to St Martin’s Press and Net Galley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on January 18th, 2022.

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