An industrious Texas sheriff tackles a strange multiple murder with roots in weird science and the Roswell crash of 1947.
Mild-mannered Sheriff Luke McWhorter, whose Yale degree in Divinity gives him a relaxed, straightforward narrative voice, marks an ignoble milestone when he vomits for the first time in his career. The cause is the discovery in an empty house of nine corpses already ravaged beyond easy recognition by a swarm of buzzards. McWhorter, who’s never met a bit of received wisdom he wasn’t eager to share, immediately calls FBI Special Agent Angie Steele, who also happens to be his lover. Angie and several local detectives start to untangle the case, complicated by the buzzard attacks and, strangely, by the lack of any personal identification around the bodies or in the house. An equally anonymous 10th body is discovered behind the dwelling, which belongs to a professor Huntgardner, who hasn’t been seen lately. Huntgardner’s extensively documented, and somewhat outrageous, claims about the legendary UFO crash at nearby Roswell raise even more eyebrows than usual in light of the multiple murders. McWhorter’s wide-ranging investigation involves searching for the professor, identifying the bodies, and making a deep dive into recent history with the few locals who are old enough to remember. With Angie’s guidance, McWhorter unravels the complex case, separating conspiracy theories from historical facts and offering numerous sidebar anecdotes along the way.
Lynch’s series debut offers a sharp, engaging hero and a mystery that amiably simmers without ever quite catching fire.