Book Review: Crescendo by Deborah J. Ledford

Deborah J. Ledford
Second Wind Publishing, January 2013
ISBN No. 978-1-938101-34-2
Trade Paperback

A traffic stop that should have been nothing more than routine has gone terribly bad for Inola Walela and her partner, Cody Sheehan.  The two are members of the Bryson City, North Carolina police force.  The driver of the vehicle is known as Hondo and has been hired by Preston Durand to locate his son.  Preston’s ex-wife has disappeared with the boy and Preston is determined that the child must be found although he has no affection for the child and never has had.  Preston’s father is dying and unless Preston can produce a heir immediately he will be cut out of his father’s will.  The traffic stop, due to a busted tail light, winds up to be a death scene when Hondo attacks Cody.  When the air clears, Hondo is dead, Cody is dead, and the woman passenger in Hondo’s vehicle is dead.

The woman in Hondo’s vehicle was trying to tell Inola that her son had been kidnapped and she frantically leaped from the vehicle spilling money all over.  As the woman stumbled around, she was hit by another vehicle and killed.

Inola is put on administrative leave awaiting the outcome of the investigation into the incident.  There is a rumor that one of the shots she fired could have possibly been the one that hit Cody.  To think that she might have had a part in the death of her partner and friend is devastating to Inola.  Inola is Native American on her mother’s side and grew up on the reservation after her mother’s death.   Inola lives with Steven Hawk who is African American and is the Sheriff of the county.  Steven wants to get married but Inola puts off giving him an answer.  Because of her heritage, Inola is always on edge that someone else will take her place in the police department.

Inola is sure that the woman was telling the truth about the child being missing but no one seems to listen to her so she begins an investigation of her own. Steven has allowed a young man that Inola knows to work on the computers at his office and even though the young operater, according to his parole, is not to be using the internet, Inola works out a way for him to help her gain information about the woman and her child.

This is a tense, complicated book and a good read.  The author has two previous books in this series called Snare and Staccato.  Although Crescendo is referred to as the last book in the trilogy there is a secret between Steven and Inola that I wish had been revealed rather than left hanging.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, March 2013.