Her Ocean Grave
June 2, 2021
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Her Ocean Grave
by Dana Perry
Review by Sheila Sobel
After decorated NYPD Homicide Detective Abby Pearce witnesses the death of her partner—a death she feels responsible for—she accepts an offer from the mayor of Cedar Cliffs to join the smaller, quieter Martha’s Vineyard police force, where she’ll be the only detective. Returning to Martha’s Vineyard, the place where she grew up, is a huge adjustment for Abby. As is adjusting to the small-town’s police work, which usually consists of nothing more than “rowdy beach parties, traffic problems and lost dogs,” a stark contrast to the more brutal crimes she witnessed during her ten years with the NYPD.
When a vacationing sixteen-year-old, Samantha Claymore—daughter of a cosmetics industry queen, Valerie Claymore—goes missing, Detective Abby Pearce is expected to find her and bring her home safely. That proves to be easier said than done. As with all high-profile missing persons cases, once the news is leaked, the media descends like locusts upon the exclusive hamlet, wreaking havoc on Abby’s investigation and ramping up the need for a more-than-swift solve. With few clues, little cooperation from Samantha’s mother and minimal support from her own police department, Abby is on her own.
After Abby learns Samantha is not the first girl to go missing from this idyllic vacation spot, she looks for a pattern, anything from those past cases that will help her find Samantha. When the broken body of Samantha’s best friend, Bridget, is found on a ledge beneath a cliff, Abby is convinced that all the cases are inextricably linked. She just can’t prove it. Yet.
Her Ocean Grave is a well-crafted police procedural with an exciting new character in Detective Abby Pearce. She’s capable. She’s smart. And, like every complex, compelling protagonist, she’s flawed. It’s what makes her relatable. That, and her thirty-five-pound dachshund, Oscar. In Detective Abby Pearce, Dana Perry has not only introduced readers to a thrilling new series but has left us anxiously awaiting the release of book two.
R.G. Belsky is an award-winning author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. Belsky has published 14 novels—all set in the New York City media world where he has had a long career as a top editor at the New York Post, New York Daily News, Star Magazine and NBC News. Writing under the name Dana Perry his novels, The Silent Victim and The Golden Girl are the first two books in the Jessie Tucker Mystery series.
Sheila Sobel’s Middle-Grade work-in-progress, TIME FLIES was a finalist for the 2020 Killer Nashville Claymore Award. Her debut YA novel, Color Blind, won the 2017 Killer Nashville Reader’s Choice Award for Best YA Fiction and was a Finalist for the 2017 Silver Falchion Award for Best YA Fiction. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two dogs and a cat.