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Hold of the Bone
I have read all the books in the Lt Franco series, all of them dark and gritty. This latest in the series, Hold of the Bone, is perhaps the finest example of author Clare Baxter Trautman’s writing. Vivid descriptions create a sense of awe and wonder in the natural surroundings, and dialogue and characterizations are just as finely drawn.<br>Lt Franco, an LAPD homicide detective, is contemplating retirement, and rolls on a case of a body unearthed at a construction site. She takes on this decades-old case, and becomes intrigued.by the witnesses and possible suspects. Tracing the deceased’s roots back to a small community in the Santa Lucia Mountains called Celadores.<br>The case is old. The trail is old, and Frank takes her visit to the mountains as a free vacation out of the city. Mountains, fresh air, no calls. Just ask a few questions of the surviving daughter of the victim, and this case might easily go into the cold case file.<br>The elusive and deliberately vague daughter, Diana Saladino. keeps deflecting the questions, and Frank keeps returning to the canyon in the mountains, staying overnight with Sal, even knowing that she might be a suspect, knowing she is not answering fully or truthfully.<br>Beautiful writing, Shot through with Frank’s growing alarm at visions she has, the sense that she has been to this place before, and her unexplained connection to the mountains are disturbing. Diana Saladino encourages Frank to trust her feelings of deja vu and to open herself to more.<br>How many more times can Franco return to the mountains that speak to her, to the woman who intrigues her? How long can she put off wrapping up the case?<br>I never read such beautiful writing in a police procedural. Let’s all hope for another in the Franco series.