Scene of the Crime: The Deputy's Proof (Harlequin Intrigue) - Carla Cassidy

Series: Scene of the Crime (Book 11)

This deputy was looking for redemption from a mysterious beauty…


Ever since Savannah Sinclair's sister was killed, her ghost has become part of local lore. But deputy Josh Griffin knows the truth behind this charade. And when Savannah is attacked, Josh vows to keep the grieving beauty safe. He soon finds that even though he's protecting Savannah, it's his heart that's under fire…


Savannah only posed as her sister's spirit to keep her sibling alive -- not to put herself in harm's way. But as Josh, her "bodyguard," stirs up feelings she thought long dead, Savannah can't help but wonder: Can her lone protector keep yet another Sinclair sister from being murdered?


Good book. This is a continuation of the mystery started in Scene of the Crime: Killer Cove, with the return of the man originally suspected of killing Shelly Sinclair. The true murderer has not yet been found, but Shelly's "ghost" continues to appear on a regular basis, keeping her name in front of the public.


The ghost is actually Shelly's younger sister Savannah, who has been playing ghost as a way to deal with her grief. Ever since Shelly's murder, Savannah has drawn in more on herself, only working her night job at the Inn, and keeping to her house except when playing ghost. One night she is caught by Deputy Josh Griffin, who tells her that, for her own safety, it's time to give up the act. 


Josh has been attracted to Savannah for several years, but since her sister's death she has been unapproachable. When he figured out that it was Savannah who was playing ghost, he became very worried about her, especially when he found out about the tunnels she was using. He had never known about their existence and wondered who else knew. When Savannah is attacked on her last night as Shelly's ghost, Josh is determined to find out who and why.


There's a definite attraction between Josh and Savannah, but she is afraid to give in to it. Ever since her sister's death, Savannah has kept all her emotions buried so deep that she has been only existing from day to day. I got very frustrated with the way that she hid in her house, resisting Josh's attempts to bring her back into the world of the living. Every time he got a little close and stirred up her emotions, she would push him away and go back to hiding. I thought that Josh had a tremendous amount of patience with the way that he would try to ease her back into being around people. I loved seeing him comfort her when she was scared or sad. There was progress in the relationship, as Josh's patience has Savannah slowly opening up to him and also start reconnecting with other people. Eventually she has to decide if she is willing to risk living and loving again.


The suspense of the story is very good. Shelly's murder is still unsolved, with Josh and his friend and fellow deputy Daniel unhappy about the way the investigation was handled. With the discovery of the tunnels, Josh wonders if the murderer used them in the commission of the crime, and if there might be some clues down there. He reports their existence to the sheriff, who along with the mayor begin mapping them. In the meantime, Josh is watching out for Savannah. She is attacked one night at work by someone who is determined to kill her for "ruining everything". Just when she believes that the danger has passed, she is taken captive by someone who has a lot to lose. The rescue is intense, with Josh and Savannah barely escaping with their lives. I loved Josh's final confrontation with the bad guy and seeing him come out on top. While the mystery of the attacks on Savannah has been solved, the question of Shelly's murder is still unanswered. There's another book coming, and I hope that will finally provide the answers.