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by Elizabeth Fackler

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59414-550-6
Publisher: Five Star

A dark tale of murder and depravity.

Lucinda Sterling is vacationing in the small New Mexico town that’s the current residence of her lover, former police detective Devon Gray, now a wanted man. After she awakens in the middle of the night to find Devon gone, he returns to tell her that he’s found Natalie Wieland, the widow next door, with her throat cut. When Lucinda’s daughter Amy arrives, she finds her mother in the hospital. Only Devon’s quick action saved her from bleeding to death when she fell and, in a strange coincidence, cut her own throat on broken glass. Although Devon’s wanted for the murder of a crooked cop in El Paso, his years as a detective and his attachment to the widow force him to investigate—especially since local police chief Gordon Bright thinks Lucinda, Amy and Devon are all suspects. Meanwhile, Amy and her friend Sharon are stalked by a disturbed local teen whose peeping has made him privy to some dangerous information about Natalie’s brother-in-law and Bright, both of whom have been more than just a comfort to the widow. At length Lucinda discovers some tapes in which Natalie revealed several twisted sexual relationships and confessed to killing her comatose husband. Devon must resolve both the case and his relationship with a doubtful Lucinda before he’s arrested for murder.

Lurking beneath this meager mystery from Fackler (Endless River, 2006, etc.) is quite an interesting story of complicated relationships.