Clare Ferguson is one half of the "team" in the Claire Ferguson / Russ Van Alstyne Mystery Series written by Julia Spencer-Fleming
(click here to check out her website). The series consists of 7 books with the latest one - One Was A Soldier - scheduled for release in April. I was fortunate enough to get an early release of book number 7 for my introduction to the series, the sleuth, and the author.
First as an introduction to Clare in this story - she is returning home from a tour in Iraq as a helicopter pilot. She is returning to her old job as a minister in the church. This was a surprise to me as an introduction but it definitely sets well with the story. I have to admit there were plenty of surprises for me in the book.
The other part of the "team" is Russ Van Altsyne. He is the professional in the story - a chief of police. He and Clare have an interesting friendship / relationship. He does not share the same religious convictions Clare has but is more of a man focused in his professional convictions.
Now back to the story. Returning home, Clare becomes involved in a help group for returning service people - as a participant. This group is led by a professional counselor and each participant has problems they need to address - including Clare. The problems range from uncontrollable anger, intense nightmares, infidelity, alcohol and drug abuse, traumatic brain injury, loss of limbs, and regrets. Each person in the group has difficulty facing their demons.
After one member of the group attempts suicide and another member of the group is discovered dead, the group becomes focused on determining why. Chief Van Alstyne (who is not a part of the help group) is convinced the death was a suicide but Clare is not convinced. She and her group are committed to find the answer for their fellow "soldier". Not only is there the death that is being questioned but also the theft of thousands of dollars from the reconstruction in IRAQ.
I do not want to go any further with the story. I will say I had to read the story twice - it certainly had it's moments and was worth it. CHECK IT OUT!!!