Bleeding Through Review
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While they’re out picking up trash along the highways with some high school students, local veterinarian Rachel Goddard and Sheriff Tom Bridger discover a body beneath an old mattress. It turns out that it’s the body of a young law student who went missing a month ago.

The victim, Shelley Beecher, was trying to help The Innocence Project prove that Vance Lankford didn’t kill Brian Hadley—both members of a rock band that had promise. When she started asking questions and opening up old wounds in Mason County, Virginia, she disappeared.

As Sheriff Bridger investigates the murder while trying to keep Vance Lankford’s family from being harassed, Rachel finds that she has her own set of problems to deal with. Her sister asks to stay with them for a few days because she’s being stalked, and soon Rachel also becomes a target of the stalker—one who might be tied to Rachel’s past and looking for revenge.

Bleeding Through is an interesting mystery involving two sisters who were abducted when they were little and raised by their abductor. The family drama adds emotional flavor to the plot as old scars threaten to flare up and destroy lives.

At times, though, I found it difficult to like Rachel. She has a controlling personality that’s often not very pleasant, and she tended to grate on my nerves. She’s also quite insensitive—and, more than once, I found myself wanting to slap her.

Tom, on the other hand, is a likable guy. He stands back and takes in the whole picture, and he acts accordingly—with fairness, sympathy, or even a tough hand when needed. I often wanted to give him a round of applause when he put someone with a bad attitude in his or her place.

All in all, Bleeding Through is a worthwhile mystery. Though it doesn’t offer any real surprise, it still has a few thrills. And even though Rachel’s character is a bit irritating, I’d still pick up another one of author Sandra Parshall’s Rachel Goddard Mystery, if only to see Tom Bridger back in action.

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