The Girl in the Wind is the second book in the continuing Iron on Iron series. This is best read after the first book, The Face in the Water. The series is a spin off from many of Gregory Ashe’s other series and having knowledge of some or all of those series is helpful. This review may reveal spoilers for the prior book in this series and any of the other series that are tied in.
Theo and Auggie are trying to get into their routine again after being part of a murder investigation at a conference. School is starting for Theo again and he needs to focus on his job and his family. Theo does not want any of them in danger and his anxiety is spiking. But when the new school year starts, one of Theo’s former students, Shaniyah, is reported missing, and it’s suspicious because Shaniyah was investigating the disappearance of another student on her own. When a break in at Theo and Auggie’s home seems linked to Shaniyah’s disappearance, the men know something more is going on and clues also point back to the Cottonmouth Club. The police aren’t overly concerned about the disappearance of either student and when Theo and Auggie decide to try and get some information on their own, it leads more danger right to their door.
This series has an overreaching main storyline, along with mysteries specific for each book. The focus is also on one specific couple from a prior Ashe series and this book features Theo and Aggie, from The First Quarto as main characters, with many familiar Ashe characters added in.
I like Theo and Auggie and it was interesting to see them again here. They are still together and committed to each other, but their relationship is a little rocky. Theo still struggles with PTSD and other issues, and it’s been years with him just trying to get through one day at a time without seeking assistance. They are precarious with each other and don’t want to get into the conversations they need to have, since they don’t want to upset things further.
There are two students missing and a break in at Theo and Auggie’s and then violence comes for them more than once. Ashe tortures his characters, whether emotionally or physically, and that continues with Theo and Auggie. The men have some assistance from many of Ashe’s other main characters and they have formed a reluctant friendship. The scenes of all of them together in lighter moments feature semi-controlled chaos that is fun to read, and the not-so-light moments show the bond developing between the characters despite themselves.
So much of this book worked for me. The mystery is relevant to Theo and Auggie, the tone of the characters remains steady, and the characters’ growth is evident and well done. The small Midwest town they live in has become a character itself,despite still being shown as a terrible place to live. Being with these characters has become an addiction and the ending only makes me ready for my next visit, as there is still a lot more story to this connected series.