The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
Charlie Cates needs a fresh start. She recently lost her young son and her grief is overwhelming. She needs to get out of the home they shared and get a change of scenery. She does need to work, but returning to her job at a women’s magazine (think Cosmo but classier) just seems too frivolous to deal with after the tragedy in her life. Coincidentally a former employer calls her about a job. Her former employer has gone from editing a true crime magazine to true crime books and he wants Charlie to write one of the decade books they are working on, specifically the greatest unsolved case of the 1980s, the disappearance of Gabriel Deveau.
She can’t deal with the idea of writing about a tragedy befalling a boy even younger than her son when he died, and is going to turn the offer down when she gets a vision of a boy in a swamp. Details from the dream seem to match what could have happened to Gabriel. After one of her dreams comes true she feels she can’t ignore the pull to the Louisiana swamps and Evangeline, the Deveau estate. Maybe her vision is wrong, but could she live with knowing it could be true and she did nothing? Will she finally find Gabriel? What else will she find?
The mystical element is integral to the plot, but it is never overwhelming. Charlie gets occasional visions and feelings, nothing too revealing, just glimpses that help reveal things that would otherwise be hidden. The characters are great from the ever optimistic housekeeper, to the disgruntled cop, to an extremely unlikely love interest for Charlie. Rumor has it that this is the first in a trilogy; I certainly hope so I’d love to see these characters again.
Read this one if you enjoy well-plotted mysteries that are great at throwing in red herrings with the bona fide clues and don’t mind a little of the paranormal sprinkled in your read.