Murder, mystery, and strong characters who are easy to identify with make up the 509 Crimes series. The setting is in the state of Washington, east of the Cascade Mountains. Each book is a stand-alone story, but the author, Caleb Conway, deftly weaves some of the same characters into each of the six books as the common denominator is the Spokane Police Department.
I’m currently reading the third book. So far, each book has two murder mystery plots worthy of many good who-done-it stories. The murder mystery is so well written that it keeps the reader on the edge of one’s seat. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, the author throws in a good twist that keeps the reader turning the pages. Included in each book (so far) is a good, credible character story. Each character is experiencing grief---two of the books have been about the death of a loved one/spouse and one character storyline in about a traumatic betrayal and abandonment from a wife.
In the books, the author really gets it when it comes to grief. I think an author couldn’t write like this unless he has experienced a significant loss of a loved one. He covers so many of the emotions that accompany grief. The discomfort that comes when venturing out to a social situation for the first time after the grief has occurred. The anger experienced toward the loved one for leaving. The self-recriminations that come with the “if only I’d done this or done that”. I found that comforting in that I think it helps to know one is not alone with their sadness and grief.
Shortly after Lisa’s death, I checked out a basket of books on grief, death and heaven from the library. As it turned out, I didn’t want to read them, or wasn’t ready to read them. I returned them all unread. I don’t recommend the 509 Crime Series books to take the place of inspirational and informative books about grief, but I find these books to help affirm my feelings as I continue the healing process.
Those who read books for pleasure are always on the lookout for a new author, or a good book. For that reason, I recommend this series. However, I would suggest the series if you are not raw with grief from a very recent loss. But with some passing time, Conway’s plots are intriguing and make a reader hungry for the next book in the series!