Small-town Missouri again proves almost as dangerous to a former CIA agent as European back alleys.
Phoenix Smith is still recovering from being shot on a mission in Istanbul. She’s staying with her lifelong friend Annalynn Keyser, who’s acting sheriff because her husband, the former sheriff, was killed in a complex drug case the gal pals solved. Out of that case (Show Me the Murder, 2013) came her new companion Achilles, a Belgian Malinois who was shot and left to die, and a better relationship with another high school friend, music teacher Connie Diamante. When a local farmer is found dead with a deer antler embedded in his back, the whole county joins a frenzied search for rabid deer, but the duo is unconvinced that this is a case of death by deer. The state police, busy looking for the cattle rustlers who shot a trooper, leave Phoenix and Annalynn free to explore their own leads even though many locals think Annalynn lacks the skills to be sheriff. The widow seems devastated, but the farm was in major financial trouble. Phoenix and Annalynn discover links to eco-terrorists, pot growers and unhappy neighbors. In the course of their investigation, they’re shot at by someone who seems very professional and soon kills again to cover his tracks. Keenly aware of the boost that solving this case would give to Annalynn’s political ambitions, Phoenix, Connie and even Achilles play their parts in tracking down a coldblooded killer.
Mulford’s second provides plenty of excitement as readers wend their ways through a slew of suspects.