A new chapter in the life of Police Chief Susan Wren, a young widow living and working in the small town of Hampstead, Kansas (Murder Take Two, 1998, etc.). At the very peak of the flu season, Susan is working with a severely attenuated force when the body of furnace repairman Tim Holiday is found in the basement of the house where Caley James lives with her three children. Zach, the oldest at 12, is the son of Caley’s ex-husband Mat, whose mother Ettie sometimes sits for the children. Tenacious research turns up Holiday’s true identity. He’s Branner Noel, convicted 12 years ago of the brutal murder of his wife but recently set free from a Texas prison on a technicality. Even as Zach gets himself involved in a grownup scam and another victim surfaces, Susan puts together some minor but puzzling words and actions that eventually lead her to killers past and present.
Weir continues to entertain with her crisp, easygoing style, some intriguing characters, and a complex scenario that still holds up to close inspection.