One Small Sacrifice

(Shadows of New York #1) by Hilary Davidson
Publication Date:  June 1, 2019

What a terrific novel One Small Sacrifice is. I picked this as my Kindle First Read book, but still worried I had made a wrong choice. I am so happy to report that I had nothing to worry about.

One Small Sacrifice is mainly told from 2 different POVs: Alex Traynor and Detective Sterling. Alex, is a photojournalist and suffering from PTSD. He is also suffering from guilt over the suicide of his friend, Cori. Detective Sterling worked Cori’s suicide case and believes Alex got away with murder – or at least at a minimum, manslaughter. When Alex’s fiancee goes missing Detective Sterling once again becomes involved with Alex’s life.

As the book progresses we see both Alex and Detective Sterling try to piece together what clues they have to go on, but each in their own way and methods. Typically, we expect detective stories to go along a certain path: go to crime scene, talk with witnesses, establish timeline, etc. It does do that, but what I really came to appreciate is how this book handles Alex’s sleuthing journey and how it is interwoven within the detective portions. Alex doesn’t automatically become a great amateur detective, or PI. Instead he just took the knowledge he had and acted like a regular human would. As the story weaves in and out of both sleuthing journeys, we begin to see a full picture of who all the players are and what their motives might be.

The story is interesting with the mystery plot well told and constructed – we’re always given information, but never enough to fully answer all the questions that we might have. The pace was even throughout the book, never slowing down, but never too frantic. Every character has various shades to their nature and as a result a lot of motive for not always telling the entire truth. In fact, as the story progresses, one theme that seemed to keep showing itself was how each one of them were impacted by the flaws of others.

Final Thoughts: Well-rounded characters, consistent plot pacing, and a story that is entertaining and then ends with a hopeful message.

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