I was very excited to read this book from the very start. You know why? I’ve been a loyal fan of this genealogical series and after all this time, Jefferson Tayte (JT), with the help of Professor Jean Summer, is finally investigating his own family’s past. Up until his parents passed away, he’d had no idea they were his adoptive parents. But searching for and finding his own family, his own identity, had always eluded him. Once again, he’s afraid he may lose ground as the man he needs to speak with is very old … and dying. All JT had to go on was a picture of his mother from 1963 that she had left for him. His friend and mentor, Marcus Brown, who had died in a prior story, had been uncovering a lead on JT’s actual family. It is that research that prompted JT and Jean to travel to Munich to speak with Johann Langner, a former soldier in Hitler’s army. More than once, Johann asks JT if he’s sure he wants to know his past no matter what. Then, Jean’s life is threatened. Someone doesn’t want the secrets of the past to become unburied. What are they hiding?
JT’s research into his family’s past is layered against the historical time period making this as much a historical fiction as a contemporary story. In particular, it goes back to the Holocaust, war crimes, and events at Dachau concentration camp. His partner in research, Jean Summer, is also someone he’s developing a close relationship with. Yet this is not a romantic suspense. Perhaps romance will be in a future book in the series. I like their playful comradery and the author has crafted both of them with believable and likable personalities. The danger felt real and there was an unbelievable twist that left me breathless. This book can be read as a standalone, but I’ve come to love JT after reading the four prior books in the series. I would suggest picking up the first, In the Blood, and starting there. It is a clean series for those that prefer no harsh language. Rating: 5 out of 5.