The timing may seem incongruent—a mystery set in the bitter cold of a Chicago winter— but it is actually quite genius. The chilly settings throughout the story and the chilling circumstances of the crime will keep you shivering as details are revealed.
P.I. Cass Raines is at it again. “Runner” tells the story of a Black girl who is about to age-out of the foster care system and has chosen to run away. Her timing is curious. It is in the middle of a bitter cold snap, with snow on the ground and winds howling, why would anyone leave the perfectly pink and endlessly fluffy foster home of Deloris Poole?
Ramona Titus has lived a life of chaos owing to her biological mother’s drug problems. She has gained awareness beyond her years, beyond what her foster mother could ever realize. Traits that serve her well while she is on the run seem innocent, but could kill her at any turn.
Cass gets involved because Ramona’s mother, Leesa Evans, hires Cass to find her daughter because she believes that the Chicago Police Department is dragging their feet. Cass negotiates with the detective assigned to the case and a retired detective who has put himself into the case for an unknown reason. Using her street skills and her humanity, she unravels a diabolical case that has enough layers to be crime lasagna.
Runner: A Cass Raines Mystery
By Tracy Clark
Kensington Books, 273 pages
L. D. Barnes writes mystery, historical fiction and poetry. She is working on the second novel in her Chicago Street Crime series while living on the far south side. Barnes is a member of FLOW (For Love of Writing), Longwood Writers Guild and Mystery Writers of America. She performs locally.