The Boston setting comes alive in former prosecutor Pamela Wechler’s second Abby Endicott novel, The Graves, where the young assistant district attorney known for crime convictions is still recovering from the attempts on her life in the debut, Mission Hill.

The strong protagonist has a passion for putting murderers away, but that same dedication has cut her off from her wealthy family’s backing. Her parents hope that putting her in financial straits will prompt Abby to turn to a career more in line with their thinking, along with ditching her musician boyfriend, even while ignoring the faults in their marriage.

But when a string of young women start turning up murdered around Boston, the case only makes Abby more determined to find the killer. Then another young woman goes missing, and Abby, working with Detective Kevin Farnsworth, investigates to find the man who’s been at the heart of the matter, with surprising and troubling complications.

The prosecutor will have to bring all of her smarts and wiles to bear to bring a killer to justice, and the outcome is not a foregone conclusion once a senator and his son become implicated in the crimes.

There’s enough here to keep any reader happy. Abby’s interior narrative is a strong voice, as the young, pampered woman who took personal shoppers and trendy shops for granted suddenly has to learn to economize. Wechsler also paints a realistic picture of a woman whose drive for her job makes others unhappy, while at the same time, it confuses Abby about what–or who–she really wants.

Auntie M likes Abby. She’s not a cardboard figure, but a realistic heroine with strong opinions who can sometimes see her own weaknesses and frailties, and so can we.

And in other news: Nele Neuhaus, one of Germany’s foremost crime authors, has her latest now out in paperback. I Am Your Judge brings the team of Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver Van Bodenstein facing a complex killer whose victims appear to have no enemies. The fourth installment in the bestseller series.