Avid Series Reader's Reviews > Broken Places

Broken Places by Sandra Parshall
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Broken Places by Sandra Parshall is the 3rd book of the Rachel Goddard mystery series set in contemporary rural Virginia. Rachel Goddard is the veterinarian in Mason County, Holly her assistant. Tom Bridger is a homicide detective, in love with Rachel. Cam Taylor is the local newspaper owner/editor, making a pest of himself begging for funds to support his newspaper. He and his wife Meredith arrived in Mason County decades ago as volunteers in a national War on Poverty program, and never left.

The latest newcomer to Mason County is Ben Hern, a longtime friend of Rachel's, famous for his Furballs comic strip. When Rachel and Holly go to visit Ben and check on his animals, they are run off the road by Cam Taylor. He is pestering Ben for money to support the paper, so desperate he has resorted to blackmail.

After leaving Ben's, Rachel partially witnesses a shooting in the woods. She heard the shot, saw Cam's blue shirt, but did not see the shooter. However, the shooter assumes Rachel was a witness, and begins attacks on her. A delightfully clever plot device is the parrot who squawks 'Help Me!' 'Save Me' to greet visitors. In the middle of the night Rachel is awakened by the parrot's distinctive greeting squawks, alerting her that someone must have entered the house.

Shortly after Cam was shot in the woods, Cam and Meredith's house burns down. Tom notifies their daughter Lindsay that both her parents are dead. She immediately comes to Mason County, and chooses to stay with Joanna, on the same farm where Rachel and Holly live. Very awkward for all, since Lindsay is Tom's former girlfriend, and she wants him back. Lindsay begins a series of tricks to alienate Tom from Rachel. Rachel is saddened that Tom might get back together with Lindsay. Rachel is also worried that Tom might be focused on Ben as primary suspect, and not search for the truth.

Tom is very busy, very distracted by the case; notices Rachel distancing herself, is frustrated by the tension between Rachel and Lindsay. He does not get a chance to explore all the evidence in case right away; by the time he knows the facts and gets authorization to act, Rachel is fighting for her life in a secluded abandoned house.

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Reading Progress

May 24, 2020 – Shelved
Started Reading
June 21, 2020 – Finished Reading

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