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The creator of sleuthing farmer Virgil Cain (Shoot the Dog, 2013, etc.) launches a new series that tosses a hard-used rape victim and her father into a sea of civic corruption in small-town Ontario.

Kate Burns won’t be the only person taking the stand against Joseph Sanderson III, who served as mayor of Rose City for so long that he’s still called The Mayor. Prosecutor Thomas Grant plans to call Maria Secord, Debra Williams, and Amanda Long to tell how The Mayor raped them when they were teenagers, half a lifetime ago. But Miles Browning, the defendant’s lawyer, earns his million-dollar fee by making mincemeat of the other complainants, and when Kate has her day in court, it’s not her best day either. The Mayor walks, leaving his victims with no redress. Kate can’t even accept the comfort of her family; her mother, Suzy, died of an overdose years ago, and she was estranged from her father even before that. It doesn’t help Kate that Carl Burns has returned to town after a stretch in prison for setting a fire that claimed a man’s life. Carl’s not the type to beg for his daughter’s forgiveness. But he is the type to lend a hand to Suzy’s sister, Frances Rourke, an organic farmer who’s battling a factory-farm importer and a toxic landfill proposed by city councilor Bud Stephens and Hank Hofferman, the pig farmer whose half-built barn Carl had torched. Wouldn’t it be nice if The Mayor had a hand in this latest round of skullduggery as well so that father and daughter could fight common enemies and not each other?

A slow-burning tale of vigilante justice leading to a satisfying ending that relies equally on convenient coincidence and the audience’s wishes.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-7278-8560-9
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Severn House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2015


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