In the thrilling Under a Broken Sky, corruption permeates Sacramento's city government. It's a situation that threatens to overwhelm Emma Larson, who just marked her first year as the youngest lead investigator for California's Hayden Government Ethics Commission. In this second novel about Emma, after All that Fall, Kris Calvin skillfully crafts an energetic story about the inner workings of government, showing how power can corrupt, while also concentrating on the interpersonal connections people need.
Emma investigates how underhanded dealings may have affected California's billion-dollar project expanding train travel. There's too much money and power involved, and Emma wants to ensure that the project is on the up-and-up. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Alibi Morning Sun, head of major crimes in the investigative division, concentrates on three seemingly unrelated crimes--the murder of Jonathan Hill, son of Frances Hill, former Sacramento mayor; arson at a storage unit; and a second killing. Alibi, Emma's friend and potential love interest, sees patterns that others miss, believing these crimes may link with Emma's investigation. A personal matter--the reappearance of her father, Atticus, who abandoned her and her sister more than 20 years ago after their mother died--momentarily distracts Emma. Atticus, who is an artist, has been arrested for assaulting a man who defaced one of his paintings at a local gallery.
Calvin enhances her strong plotting in Under a Broken Sky with a comprehensive look at her characters' lives, which include petty office drama, deep friendships and the fallout from a parent's abandonment. --Oline H. Cogdill, freelance reviewer