Review: Damaging Secrets by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

damaging secrets

Official Thrillerfix Review

Review by Kimberly Charleston

30 November 2020

"This book is not only an awesome mystery, but moreover a story about new beginnings and battling the odds. Rachel Ryder is a new heroine on the suspense scene that you’ll want to engage with again and again." – Kimberly Charleston via Books Uplift

When her husband is killed in the line of duty, Chicago detective Rachel Ryder starts life anew in Georgia. Though she hopes this small town will bring her some semblance of peace, she’s ready to resume her reputation as a determined investigator who puts it all on the line to find the truth. But not long into her role as a new member of the Hamby Police Department, she’s battling discrimination, bullying and corruption.

Her suspicions flare when her chief orders her to a local homicide with the caveat that she lets her more seasoned partner, Rob Bishop take the lead. This is not the first time her sexist and demeaning boss has disrespected her. Despite the fact that she’s more experienced than most of her team, she’s treated like a plebe; frustrated at the restraint yet determined to see things through.

When they arrive on the scene, her partner Bishop warns her to not voice her suppositions contrary to their chief’s ruling. Though city councilman Troy Light was evidently murdered, Chief Cochran declares it a suicide and pressures the ME to do the same. Their clear disregard for the evidence infuriates Ryder, so she pursues her own clandestine investigation which not only puts her in grave danger but casts a light of suspicion on members of her own department.

Carolyn Ridder Aspenson’s character is everything a woman wants to be—fierce, loyal, driven, talented and determined.

But that often comes with lack of respect. Unfortunate but all too common. Now imagine trying to find your footing, working through deep personal grief and striving to uncover the truth for a victim’s family, while you’re all by your lonesome in a new hometown. The fact that Rachel doesn’t give up or let the odds win makes her even that more compelling.

This book is not only an awesome mystery, but moreover a story about new beginnings and battling the odds. Rachel Ryder is a new heroine on the suspense scene that you’ll want to engage with again and again.

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THRILLERFIX ALL-STAR REVIEWER: Kimberly Charleston from Books Uplift has written over 23 books, some published and others on their way to print. Her books range in genres from mystery and suspense to young adult and historical. If you enjoy novels of mystery, suspense, and historical, you'll want to follow Kimberly Charleston's book recommendations here on the Thrillerfix blog.