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Traces of Guilt

(Evie Blackwell Cold Case #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  3,748 ratings  ·  476 reviews
Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police Detective . . . mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job.

Gabriel Thane is a lifetime resident of Carin County and now its sheriff, a job he
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Bethany House Publishers
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Martha Are more planned in this series?
Erika Hayes Not through Overdrive. I did buy this book but you can get most of Henderson's books through the local library.

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  3,748 ratings  ·  476 reviews

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Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ten billion stars out of five (because one billion stars just wouldn't be enough). I'm always ecstatic when I start a new Dee Henderson book, but also a little apprehensive because how can she possibly continue to improve on what is already out-of-the-park brilliance. How can you improve perfection? Well, I don't know how, but Dee Henderson obviously does because her books just keep getting better and better. And Traces of Guilt is simply amazing.

The world Henderson creates is completely
DNF at page 190

I honestly just couldnt get into this book. Cold cases have never been my favorite as I enjoy more of the theres a killer on the loose and everyones lives are in danger type suspense.

I probably would have at least finished it but its a library book and I have other books that I really want to read before they have to go back. It wasnt grabbing my attention at all, so I decided to just set it down. I probably wont pick it up again, but I would have definitely finished it if I
I would almost give this book 3 stars because I did enjoy the mysteries of the cold cases. However... that's about the only thing I enjoyed about it.

Though there are some romantic elements in the story, I would definitely not consider it a romantic mystery novel. But I actually rather liked that about it. Even I, who like romantic books, find it rather nice to read a non-romantic mystery occasionally because it allows the focus to be more on the mystery elements and the process of solving the
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"Traces of Guilt" is general fiction, not a romantic suspense. Evie is happy as a single woman (by which she means she's happy dating a man who wants to marry her but whom she doesn't intend to marry). This doesn't change, but we don't meet her boyfriend.

The task force was looking at a bunch of cold cases, so there's no suspense. They talk about what might have happened and possible leads. They talk about what they did and what they discovered. They think and talk about how they feel very sad
Cara Putman
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is another complex mystery going in several directions. Like her last book, this one does not have a complete romance. There are romantic threads, but the focus is on the community of characters and solving the cold cases. Those who have read prior books will enjoy seeing some of those characters come back, while still being wrapped in a story filled with wonderful new characters. I enjoyed it!
Lynn Spencer
This book was a wonderful thrill ride! The main character, Evie Blackwell, has come to a small Illinois town to launch a statewide cold crimes task force. She is charged with looking at two unsolved crimes that have lingered in Carin County's memory for many years - the disappearance of a tourist couple's young daughter from their hotel and the disappearance of a local sheriff's deputy and his entire family.

As she gets into her detective work, Evie works closely with local sheriff Gabriel Thane.
Prairie Sky Book Reviews
Dee Henderson is the popular and award-winning author of many bestselling series, but honestly, after reading her latest novel, I dont see what all the hype for her writing is about. Traces of Guilt: An Evie Blackwell Cold Case, was published by Bethany House late in 2016. It is presumably the first of a new series, but is somehow connected to many of Hendersons previous books as well. In any case, I was excited to dive into what I hoped would be a fascinating mystery filled with twists and ...more
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Sigh. I miss the Dee Henderson I once knew. I wish we could go back to the interim between True Honor 2011 and Unspoken in 2015 and undo whatever happened to change her writing. I honestly think if she hadn't set the bar so high with The O'Malley's and the Uncommon Heroes books I would really like her new books. There are interesting characters and great story lines, they just don't the have the action they used to and the writing is so stilted, it just doesn't seem real.

For instance, do you
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, though it doesn't have the same 'feel' that Dee Henderson's earliest work has. Those books were focused more on the suspense and the romance, and this book (as with her most recent books) focus less on romance and more on relationships in general (in this case friendships) and on the procedures of solving the mysteries. While it's different for sure, I find that I like them equally.
I liked that there were some aspects about each of the cases in this book that could be
This book was so much better than I expected. It kept guessing and thinking from the begging to the end.
Sarah Grace Grzy
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
That was a looooooong book, but very good, as per usual with Dee Henderson!
Oct 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dee Henderson is such an experienced and engaging writer. I was really looking forward to reading this book and it did not disappoint!

There are many dynamics and threads running through this book and also characters and mentions of characters from previous books. So even though this can be read as a stand alone and, I believe, is the start of a new series, it does help if you are familiar with and have read her previous books (especially the more recent ones).

I enjoyed getting to know the Thane
Denise Hershberger
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You know a book deserves five stars when you immediately want to re-read the entire 400 pages! This book was amazing! As Ive come to love, Henderson wrote with such attention to detail that the only things left to my imagination were the things she wanted left to my imagination. I actually felt like I had been transported to Carin County, Illinois where the Thane family resides. And when the characters suffered physical and emotional pain I felt my own body tense up. I was literally holding my ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
Working title: The Agnostic Book Club read Christian fiction
First impression: Hmm... Really not my cup of tea. Too many characters, which means most are very superficial. Everyone-must-have-a-deep-and-dark-secret trope. Tension building is a bit so-so. In short, the sections about faith and Christianity are surprisingly the least irritating ones, because they kinda work whereas the story itself doesn't. I know that it's hard to build suspense when the cases studied are over 10 years old, but
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love Dee Henderson's books. They are beautifully written. Most are mysteries that keep me up late, reading past when I should be asleep. Her characters are real. They have real struggles, real pain. I am so glad Ms. Henderson is still writing.

This book is about Evie who is trying to solve two cold cases while on vacation. Ann and Paul from Full Disclosure are in this book. This is a great stand alone book, but is somewhat tied to her series that is not a series- Full Disclosure, Unspoken,
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think in order to enjoy Dee Henderson's new storytelling style you have to let go of the O'Malleys. Yes cherish them and reread them and display those books on your keeper shelves, but opening a current Henderson novel and expecting an O'Malley type of story isn't doing the author or the reader any favours.

No matter what style she's writing in, Henderson is still the best at showing the slow but steady journey towards relationship. At the beginning of Traces of Guilt, Evie and Gabriel don't
Joanie Bruce
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Dee Henderson is one of my favorite authors, and this book only confirms that statement. It was fast-paced and interesting, and I loved reading it.

Spoiler alert:

What I liked: As in all of her books, Dee Hendersons attention to detail in her research and the way she handles the logical steps of the investigative process is awesome. The brainstorming of the characters while trying to solve several cold case files is outstanding and moved the story along quickly. I also love the way the characters
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I initially added this book to my TBR when I saw it is about solving cold cases - I just love that series "Cold Case" and enjoyed this dramatic mystery (probably more because I listed to an audiobook version than reading, because it is quite long).

Dee Henderson delivered a story with very intriguing cold cases which kept me interested since I did not know what the ending will be and at one point thought that one might remain unsolved. Which I would have hated, but in real life there is a lot of
Apr 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, christian-fic
This is yet another well-written crime investigation novel by the dependable Dee Henderson. This introduction to her new series has her tried and true formula at play: a group of like-minded 30-and-40-somethings that are connected by mutual friends, similar professions, and tragedy. Evie Blackwell seems like she will be an interesting character, but she really didn't get much playing time here; much of this story actually involves side characters Grace and Josh. Actually, that probably is my ...more
Sandra Lassiter
Jun 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Meh. This didn't fall to the level of some of Dee's later books that made me want to throw something (I'm looking at you, "Undetected"!), but it was still far from the level of the O'Malleys or even Uncommon Heroes series.

Too much. That's how I would sum up this book. Just too much going on. Too many mysteries, too many people with tragic back stories--just slightly over-the-top on most things. I realize a good, tragic back story can add a lot to a book, but pretty much EVERY ONE of the female
Kristine Morgan
Feb 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I finished Traces Of Guilt over a week ago, but have been struggling with writing this review. Dee Henderson is one of my all time favorite, go to authors. However I really could not get into this book. The premise was good, but there was no edge of the seat, I have to know what happens next storyline. Perhaps because this book deals with cold cases, where the action is in the past. Perhaps this is going to be Dee's new style as there are hints that Evie Blackwell will be in future novels.
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Different but what a neat story. Absolutely shows you how to solve a cold case. Shows you many awful things can happen but shows how to overcome things too. Many familiar people are back to and some new ones too.
Buy this book, its a great read
What do I like about Dee Henderson's writing?
Intelligent dialog
Multiple Christian characters
Faith messages throughout, always organic
Good who-done-it stories

All of these items were in Traces of Guilt. However, this book was unlike most of her stories.
No one came to the Lord, no romance or people falling in love, not just one current case but several cold cases, seemingly connected, but as the build-up toward solutions is on the horizon there are, of course, surprises.

This one didnt
Absorbing tale. Meanders a bit.
Setting: Illinois (S of Chicago .. probably Sn part of the state) Carin (Clair ?) County
Ann & Paul, Will & Karen = solid couples
Josh & Grace, Gabriel Thane (Sheriff) & Evie B = working on solid frndshps
I sure did wonder about what happened to the deputy & his family so was glad the truth was discovered .. though it was very sad.
Laurie DelaCruz
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had almost given up on Dee Henderson, but my sister told me this series was a little better, and showed some improvement over other recent books. I'm glad I listened to her, because this book was definitely worth the read. Character development has improved greatly. Plots were less manicured, and more believable. Still far from her best work, but I'm hopeful she will continue to improve!
Another reviewer summed it up rather well:
"The combination of a motivating plot, believable characters, and an all-around good story made it a fun book to read. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great book!"
Nora St Laurent
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cold cases are brought to the front burner with a new task force headed up by Ann Falcon (who readers have met in other novels by Dee) under the request of the Governor.

Ann seeks the help of longtime friends The Thane brothers who live in Carin County where these cases took place. Evie is using her vacation time to dig into a twelve year old case. The first case she digs into is the Florist family disappearance. Sheriff Gabriel Thaine is also a friend of Ann and is recruited to help in reviewing
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Another Dee Henderson novel that has me feeling ambivalent: some parts I really enjoyed but other aspects just left me cold, which is a shame!

As always, Dee's writing drew me in quickly and it was very hard to not have the time to read it all in one go! I do enjoy her descriptions, it's something she does very well.
The concept was interesting- tackling cold cases - as all the crimes have been committed already so there was no suspense in that respect. However, the build up of potential leads,
Shirley Corder
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I am a fan of Dee Hendersons novels, and so I was thrilled for the opportunity to review Trace of Guilt. I enjoyed the story immensely, but it is missing the suspense and clear romances of most of her other books. This is not a bad thing; it is just good if the reader anticipates this. The suspense is more of a speculation as no active crime happens in the story. The romance thread is there, but it is either found in established marriages or it is left hanging, presumably to be continued in one ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Dee Henderson is the author of 24 novels, including Immortality, An Unfinished Death, Taken, Unspoken and the acclaimed OMALLEY series. Several titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestseller list; Full Disclosure has also appeared on the New York Times Bestseller list. Her books have won or been nominated for

Other books in the series

Evie Blackwell Cold Case (2 books)
  • Threads of Suspicion (Evie Blackwell Cold Case, #2)

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