Starting Over. Yes, the title of my review and the title of this book are the same, because I want to emphasize just how well Bratt titled this particular story. Yet again, we get a pulse pounding crime unfortunately based on real-world events in the South, in this particular case (as the prologue shows, so no real spoilers here) an abduction from a Walmart parking lot. And there is a lot of action in this particular case, including hiking through one park I’m very familiar with and another I’ve been to a few times – Amicalola State Park and Unicoi State Park, respectively, both in the North Georgia mountain region. In particular, the camping areas, trails, even the hike-inn that Bratt mentions were all part of my teens in particular, with several trips out there from my home town not very far away.
But as always with this series, this tale is about the small town and family relationships as much as it is about the crime of the book, and it is here that we truly get a sense of this series – that was supposed to end here – is actually “starting over”, in all the best possible ways. We get a return to the true roots of this series, but with everyone involved in different situations than they were in at the actual beginning of the series. Being told with Bratt’s usual careful yet evocative styling, this book will leave you particularly glad the series is “starting over” rather than concluding here as was originally intended. Very much recommended.