Full disclosure – I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book by the author or their representative but have voluntarily provided a review.
The Little Grave is set for a January 11, 2021 release
When the past comes crashing into the present, will Detective Steele survive
Detective Amanda Steele, on the outside, is the perfect picture of a Dumfries Virginia police detective. The daughter of a retired police chief, she has worked her way up the ranks and is a respected member of society; but inside she is falling apart. As the fifth anniversary of the death of her husband and daughter at the hands of a drunk driver approaches, Amanda’s life has descended into a cycle of overwork, one-night stands, and overall bad choices as she tries to ease the pain and fill the void left behind. When she is partnered up with a rookie detective for a new murder case, personal demons and professional credibility collide as the victim turns out to be the very man who took her world from her not too long ago. Trying to chase down her own alibi and against her superior’s wishes, Amanda works the case from the sidelines at first, but the more details she uncovers, the connections are made to a cold case in another county as well as possibly a larger operation involving the lives or more than her and the victim. As the pieces fall together and the murderer is revealed, the revelation could cause Amanda to lose more than she ever thought possible.
The Little Grave is the first in the Detective Amanda Steele series of novels by author Carolyn Arnold, which is set for an early January release. Having previously read titles in both the Brandon Fisher FBI series and the Detective Madison Knight series, and as I am familiar with how well Arnold excels in this genre, I was excited to be at ground zero for this new adventure. Arnold does not disappoint, as from the opening sequence Steele is portrayed as a woman on the brink of self-destruction. As the story unfolds and Amanda’s personal demons are laid bare for the reader, Arnold captures the pain that only a mother can feel when they have lost a child. That angle alone would have made for an excellent story, but Arnold is not one to stop at mediocre as she weaves in seemingly unrelated side plots that ultimately works into the overall story and the true crime that has been committed. The ending chapters and ultimate climax sees Steele evolving into a stronger person than we saw in the opening of the story; and with more than one plot twist revealed, I am really looking forward to the direction the story takes in the upcoming books.
With “The Little Grave” Arnold has provided a strong opening to what I hope to be a long-running series. I am curious to see what adversities and challenges away Detective Steele in the future.