Dead By My Side
Author: Gloria Galloway
Genre: Police Procedural, Suspense, Paranormal (Ghost)
The following is my July 18, 2012, 5 Star Review:
A fantastic read that I didn't want to put down.
Prior to writing this review, I went back and read the blurb for DEAD BY HER SIDE by GLORIA GALLOWAY. I don't want to be responsible for giving any part of the plot away because you are going to be hooked on this book as soon as you open it. I made sure that you will not find any surprises in this review about the plot that are not listed in the blurb.
Julia Reynolds and Tony Camarelli are partnered homicide detectives for the Sacramento Sheriff's Department. They've worked together for twelve years and the affection between them is tangible. There is an unspoken love between the two that carries the reader throughout the book. One of my very favorite scenes is one of the last (living) conversations they have together. They are on a stake out. It's minutes after midnight on Julia's birthday and she says whatever she can to get her present from Tony now instead of later. I must say that I may just steal some of this material for myself on my next birthday. It was hysterical. Later that evening, Julia is shot and killed in the line of duty. I was shocked. My heart broke into pieces.
I must stop here and tell you that I like to read cold. I do not read reviews or blurbs prior to reading a book so when Julia was killed, I was devastated. There is a moment of pure strength when Tony goes to Julia's grandmother to inform her of Julia's death. It touched my heart. Through Ms. Galloway's writing, I felt Tony's pain. I wanted to go on a drinking binge with him, put my arms around him and tell him everything was going to be okay.
Tony is able to pull himself up out of the seven day drunken haze after seeing Julia's ghost. After a while, he realizes that he's not seeing things, his partner is there by his side, joking with him, talking to him and working cases with him. I liked the idea that Ms. Galloway came up with for them to communicate in public without people thinking he had lost his mind. Very clever and very much appreciated by a reader that wouldn't have believed a word of what the author was writing without little details such as this. This book was truly thought out in every detail.
We follow Tony and Julia through a year of cases of which include a murdered wife of a wealthy man that thinks he got away with it and a disturbing serial killer. The police procedural in DEAD BY MY SIDE was spot on. The reader is expertly taken along through the cases and is given some insight into forensics and FBI profiling as well. I found it fascinating and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.
The secondary characters, family, friends, colleagues were all very well developed and quite enjoyable to read about. This book encompasses the personal lives of the characters as beautifully and completely as it does the professional law enforcement side.
By the end of the book, I wanted more. There were no lose ends, nothing left untied, I just didn't want it to end. Ms. Galloway left this book open for a second in the series. I hope she writes one because I can't wait to get my hands on it. After reading DEAD BY MY SIDE, the only thing I feel really bad about is the fact that poor Julia is stuck wearing such ugly shoes for eternity.
I plan on reading everything Gloria Galloway writes. I truly enjoyed this novel and can't wait for more.
Julia Reynolds is a homicide detective with beauty, brains, a smart mouth and a sharp investigative eye. She is the perfect foil for Tony Camarelli, who is handsome, tough, dedicated and thorough. Together they make a great team, trading banter, fighting crime, out to catch the bad guy. It all sounds like a normal day at the office for these two partners. Except for one little detail…she’s dead. Julia and Tony have worked together for twelve years. Their partnership is cut short the day that Julia is killed in the line of duty and Tony is left to pick up the pieces. When Julia’s ghost comes back to haunt him, she wreaks havoc on his peace of mind, plays on his nerves and interrupts his love life. It soon becomes clear that she won’t leave him alone until he agrees to partner up again. As she did in life, Julia helps Tony with the investigation, but this time she has a new and unique perspective from beyond the grave, and they will need it. The duo is about to face the most challenging case of their careers. A cunning serial killer, who doesn’t fit any criminal profile, stalks the young women of Sacramento, daring the local authorities and the FBI to catch him. Hot on the trail of a sadistic monster, they must fight against time while trying to adjust to their new “living” arrangements.
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