Solitude Creek is Jeffery Deaver’s fourth book in the Kathryn Dance series. The body language expert is a key interrogator for the CA Bureau of Investigations and is often the lead detective on big cases. In Solitude Creek, Kathryn has misidentified a suspect as merely a witness, leading to his taking her weapon and injuring a woman as he flees the CBI offices. Kathryn is put on Civil Division duty, which means she cannot carry a weapon or work criminal cases.
Her first Civ-Div assignment is to check the permits at a music club on Solitude Creek where a stampede of frightened patrons killed three and injured numerous others. While speaking with the club owner and witnesses, Kathryn realizes that this was no accident, nor was it a set up for insurance money. Meanwhile, the huge gang-related drug smuggling case she had been working is moving forward without her. Against the boss’s orders, Kathryn manages to stay involved with the drug case while “consulting” with the local sheriff on Solitude Creek. In addition to these two cases, Kathryn is juggling her two children, who have each been acting differently lately, and her first boyfriend since becoming a widow several years earlier.
Meanwhile, the huge gang-related drug smuggling case Kathryn had been leading is moving forward without her. Against the boss’s orders, Kathryn manages to stay involved with the drug case while “consulting” with the local sheriff on Solitude Creek. In addition to these two cases, Kathryn is juggling her two children, who have each been acting differently lately, and her first boyfriend since becoming a widow several years earlier.
There are several other wickedly clever panic scenes besides the initial Solitude Creek nightclub, one where Kathryn and her friend, sheriff’s deputy Michael O’Neill are also trapped, in addition to interrogations and searches in the drug running case. While this is all going on in her professional life, Kathryn’s ten-year-old daughter is acting uncharacteristically moody about a school talent show and her thirteen-year-old son suddenly has a new group of friends and is out of the house more than usual.
Solitude Creek once again makes me wonder where and how Jeffery Deaver comes up with his original premise. A man starting panics all over California’s Monterey Peninsula for no apparent reason is an idea that I could never design. As Kathryn and her team move closer to the suspect, he begins to investigate her and promises himself to stop her relentless pursuit. I enjoy Kathryn’s story because there is a lot of her family life with her parents, children, and boyfriend, which we don’t get much of in Deaver’s Lincoln Rhymes books. The beauty and culture of the Monterey Peninsula are also sprinkled throughout Solitude Creek as Kathryn attends a concert and listens to local music in her car. Her boyfriend Jon bikes to stores in the center of town, which are specifically named, as are some of the restaurants and famous residents of the area.
Although it is not necessary to read the other books in this series first, I always recommend trying to start with the first when a book is full of the character’s story in addition to the mystery. Regular readers of Jeffery Dance will not be disappointed with Solitude Creek, and people who enjoy thrillers in general, should try the Kathryn Dance series for sure.
I received an electronic copy of Solitude Creek by Jefferey Deaver free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review contains affiliate links and is in compliance with FTC guidelines.
Monterey Wharf image from Alex Wekell on Deviant Art. Licensed under Creative Commons.
Monterey Pines image licensed under GFDL 1.2 from Flagstaffotos via Wikimedia Commons.