Murder calls a Boston private eye back to his childhood home and some ugly home truths, in this remarkably accomplished debut by London-based journalist Rickards.
Driving along a deserted road in a downpour, Alex Rourke’s old school friend, Sheriff Dale Townsend, has discovered a half-naked man, armed with two knives, standing over the naked body of Angela Lamond. There’s no mystery about what happened—until Dale realizes there are no traces of blood or fingerprints on the knives and no sign of the nurse’s clothing or any transportation that could have brought her or her killer four miles from little Winter’s End. When the John Doe he’s arrested refuses to admit his guilt or even give his name, Dale sends for Alex, whose FBI career was cut short by a nervous breakdown after his parents were killed in a car he was driving. So begins a cat-and-mouse game between the shamus, who can’t pierce the suspect’s preternatural calm, and the suspect, who somehow knows so much about the man who’s supposed to be questioning him that he repeatedly turns the tables and puts Alex on the spot, taunting him with clues he’s obviously planted to draw him deeper into the town’s troubled past and insinuating that the two of them share a lot more than an interrogation room.
A lacerating tale, chilly as a Maine winter, that will have you rooting first for Alex’s spiritual survival and then for his speedy return.