Sheriff Steve Martinez of Michigan's Upper Peninsula tackles a complex case that involves a cluster of competing law enforcement groups plus some mobsters from Detroit.
The bones of a little girl found on a train in Omaha find their way back to the Upper Peninsula when a Nebraska lawman tracks the train car's origin to Martinez's jurisdiction, where it's been in storage until recently. Martinez has knowledge about the railroad that proves useful; he narrates in an engaging first-person voice, folding in interesting bits of local history. The case is somehow connected to the murder of an illegal immigrant named Diego. The investigation stalls at first, but a call from the FBI concerning skeletal remains found in a train yard in North Dakota, and more in Philadelphia, complicates the case. In all, the remains of three other young female victims are discovered. Enter state troopers, numerous members of the press, and FBI agents in the flesh, uncharacteristically admitting their need for assistance. Once they decide to handle the murders of the girls, they ask Martinez and his sidekick, Alex, to investigate the adult victims found in other places. A visit from alleged crime boss Dominic Benedetto brings the simmering pot to a boil. Ultimately, Martinez needs to hit the road to crack the case. On the personal front, Martinez lends a hand to ladylove Ginny Fitzgerald in convincing her son Tommy not to forgo college to work as an activist for the American Indian Movement.
In this fifth Martinez procedural (Hang Fire, 2013, etc.), Kisor's measured yet relaxed style is a very good match for the multidimensional case.