Blackjack's Reviews > The Girl in the Moss

The Girl in the Moss by Loreth Anne White
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it was amazing
bookshelves: published-2018, books-i-own, 2018-favorite-books, arc

"Maybe the truth should stay buried sometimes."

The third and, I suspect, final book in the Angie Pallorino series brings a very satisfying close for the fiercely intrepid detective. If the series does in fact end here, I think it does a very fine job of wrapping up Angie's journey of self-discovery, and I am surprisingly satisfied that it ends the way it does. The main themes of uncovering the truth and of being true to oneself come full circle, and I did find that reading all three books in the trilogy fairly close to each other helped me to see the big picture better. So much of this third book is about Angie coming to terms with her personal history and trying to forge the right path forward.

There is a larger philosophical question throughout this book concerning the morality of cold case detecting. If history allows those in grief to move forward with their lives, trying to breath new life into a cold case threatens to upend everything for survivors. On the other hand, those who have gotten away with murder are eluding justice. Angie clearly represents Justice in this book, even at times when nearly everyone is against her and when some of the opposition's arguments makes some sense. At the start of the book, Angie is officially an ex-cop, having been fired for blatant violations of police protocol, a verdict hard to denounce for those who have read the first two books. She is trying to become licensed as a private investigator, which seems a better fit given her struggle to be a team player. Her road to licensing doesn't come easy for her but that generally seems to be the way things go for Angie. Due to her notoriety at this point in her life, Angie comes to the attention of an eccentric and wealthy elderly woman who hires her to investigate the final days of her granddaughter's life after her skeleton is discovered in the woods twenty-four years after her disappearance. What follows is a riveting who-done-it that I found made this the best of the three books in the Pallorino series and a story that I had trouble putting down.

Angie sets out to discover what happened to skilled fly fisher, Jasmine, who disappeared on an expedition. Jasmine, we learn, was part of an all-female troupe of fly fishers for a provocative new reality TV series set in the Pacific Northwest wilderness. On the surface, Jasmine appears to have slipped on rocks while fishing, drowned, and gone over the treacherous falls of a river. Nothing is ever what it seems though and the cast of suspects grows as Angie delves more and more into the infamous event. Adding to the carefully crafted mystery is an unbelievable setting straight out of the movie Deliverance, complete with banjos and creepy hillbillies, and even Predator Lodge where Angie and Maddocks spend their first nights in the area. At first I found the rednecks of this very small town a bit amusing. Midway through, I realized that, no, these men are genuinely terrifying and Angie's life is in more danger than ever before. I would add too that this book works especially well in a Canadian setting because Angie was stripped of her gun when she was fired from the police force, and if this had been an American author/setting, Angie would have been loaded up with assault rifles as a civilian. Having only a wee little pocket knife for protection was terrifying, and I say this as an anti-gun advocate.

This book has one of the most tightly constructed mysteries I've read in a long time, and the violence and threat of violence permeates the second half of the book. Maddocks has a far less dominant role here, but his presence in Angie's life is significant. Kjel Holgersen plays a big role too, and if I had to guess, I would not be at all surprised if he gets his own series soon. It was satisfying too that so many figures from the earlier novels reappear here in important ways. The author has done a wonderful job of creating a believable world. This final book came alive for me. I fell asleep thinking about it and awoke turning things over, visualizing scenes, like a movie playing in my head.

Is it right or wrong to meddle and resurrect the past? Is it justice or meddling? Or both? Law enforcement doesn't stop investigating current cases out of concern that people's lives will potentially be upended. Cold cases have the weight of history though and they are a different animal. But as much as these questions are debated by others in the book, Angie is as myopically focused as ever on uncovering the truth, and what a truth it is in the end. Not a book to miss!

ARC Netgalley
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Reading Progress

February 28, 2018 – Shelved
February 28, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
February 28, 2018 – Shelved as: published-2018
March 16, 2018 – Shelved as: books-i-own
May 5, 2018 – Started Reading
May 6, 2018 –
May 7, 2018 –
May 8, 2018 –
May 9, 2018 –
May 10, 2018 – Finished Reading
May 11, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-favorite-books
September 9, 2018 – Shelved as: arc

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Mei (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mei Wonderful review, Blackjack!!! I loved it too! :)

Blackjack Mei wrote: "Wonderful review, Blackjack!!! I loved it too! :)"

Thank you, Mei. I read somewhere that Loreth Anne White is going to be updating readers very soon about her next book. I'm so curious!

message 3: by Mei (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mei Blackjack wrote: "Mei wrote: "Wonderful review, Blackjack!!! I loved it too! :)"

Thank you, Mei. I read somewhere that Loreth Anne White is going to be updating readers very soon about her next book. I'm so curious!"

Really?! That's very interesting! I love how she writes!

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