I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Legacy by Gary Gusick
Series: Darla Cavannah #3
Published by Alibi on December 6, 2016
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When the governor of Mississippi requests her help, Yankee transplant Darla Cavannah can hardly say no—even if the timing couldn’t be worse. She and her dreamy husband, Dr. Stephen Nicoletti, have just been approved to adopt a baby girl in China, and getting wrapped up in a high-profile homicide will almost certainly complicate, if not derail, all their plans. But as Governor Wilson Burnett relays the details of the case, Darla feels deep sympathy—and blinding outrage at a promising life cut short.
On the campus of prestigious Ole Miss, a young African American student has been found killed just hours after her initiation into a previously segregated sorority. The murder would be shocking under any circumstances, but this student is Caitlin Burnett—the white governor’s adopted daughter.
With public outrage building and media coverage intensifying, Darla’s partner, Rita Gibbons, proves invaluable. Her deep roots in the community—or “trailer trash cred”—helps considerably as the crime-solving pair sift fact from fiction. If this murder was racially motivated, why does the most damning evidence appear to have been staged? As the trail leads from Caitlin’s fellow Delta Betas to radical white supremacists and her father’s political enemies, the detectives close in on the disturbing truth—and a devious manipulator pulling all the strings.
Darla Cavannah is back, now working for the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and anticipating the adoption of a baby girl from China. Just as she’s preparing to file papers for time off for impending motherhood, she’s requested to lead the investigation of an apparent hate crime. A young Black woman was discovered hanging from a tree on the Old Miss campus. She’s not just any girl…her father’s the most well known man in the state.
Only Gusick could write this timely story of modern racism with wit, honesty and intelligence. You’re drawn into the story, which is rapidly paced without being rushed. He doesn’t indict anyone, leaving it up to the reader to form any judgments…or not.
Darla is one of my most favorite fictional characters and she has some moments here that are just outstanding. The breakout character, however, is her partner, Rita Gibbons, who will have you in stitches. But make no mistake, these are two extremely capable investigators who no one would underestimate.
The case has quite a few twists but not the kind that are done to entertain the reader. It’s an excellent procedural and the culture of the region is perfectly captured. There are no caricatures here. I love this series and devoured this book, hoping for more to come.