After reading Secrets to Die For, I wondered if L. J. Sellers camped out for days in the Eugene Police Headquarters in Oregon, taking note of every step, procedure and conversation taken by their homicide detectives. The second Detective Jackson mystery is so full of buzzwords, lingo and acronyms, I started looking for a Policeman/English dictionary. I always thought a bolo was something men in the southwestern US sometimes wore in place of a tie. Apparently, it has a totally different meaning to law enforcement.However, those added details are what sets Secrets apart. Even if Sellers didn't hang out in the police department, I certainly felt like I was standing in the hallways, listening and watching as the story unfolded around me.
The novel opens with a social worker Raina Hughes visiting a young boy she's been assigned to. The meeting is disastrous. As she flees the family's home, she is raped and murdered.
At first it appears that the father of the boy but as Jackson and his team dig deeper, they find there may be a connection to a serial rapist preying on lesbians.
Jackson worries about the escalation in the perp's violence. He's receiving pressure from the sergeant to solve the case quickly, despite the lack of concrete evidence pointing to any one suspect. Then Rain's close friend disappears and Jackson fears it is only a matter of time before another victim is found.
Through all this, Jackson is experiencing upheaval in his personal life as well. The case causes him to spend hours on the job, taking time away from Katie, his teenage daughter and Kera, the woman is he currently dating. Unfortunately, Kera's estranged husband who dumped her via a 'Dear John' letter is back in town, sniffing around and making overtures that he wants a reconciliation.
In the end, it's the back-breaking, leg-work attention to detail and protocol that leads Jackson's team to find the serial rapist and the murderer of Raina Hughes. The climax is page-turning excitement as Jackson puts the pieces together in a down-to-the-last-second conclusion.
Sellers snares the readers' attention with surprising twists throughout the story and keeps them glued to every page.