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DUNSTON FALLS by Al Lamanda

DUNSTON FALLS

By Al Lamanda

Pub Date: March 19th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59414-586-5
Publisher: Five Star

When an ice storm isolates a small Maine town, a serial killer runs amok.

In 1959, Dunston Falls suffers a devastating ice storm that wreaks havoc on power lines and roads. With his few deputies, rookie sheriff David Peck sets about checking on local residents as Deb Robertson, who runs the local diner, helpfully offers to stay open extra hours. In a trailer on the outskirts of town, Peck finds the body of Doris White, tied to her bed and sexually assaulted before being brutally murdered with a knife from her own kitchen. Peck wants to inform the locals, but he relents when mayor Ed Kranston, who gave Peck the job 18 months ago, convinces him it will cause an unmanageable panic. That evening, he checks in on Deb at her home. Their intense attraction leads to physical intimacy, the first Peck has shared in a long time. Next day, Deb doesn’t show up at her diner, and Peck fears the worst. Later, he finds her at home, murdered in the same fashion as Doris White. The arrival of the FBI offers more official help but the usual procedural disagreements. Inexplicably, Peck begins to suffer violent, debilitating headaches that neither he nor his doctor can predict or prevent.

A debut novel written with a quiet authority that should engage readers, but the 90-degree turn midway through the story could also baffle them.