After a one-volume hiatus, Talton revisits Professor/Deputy Sheriff David Mapstone (Arizona Dreams, 2006, etc.), now a more troubled man in a darker, drearier city.
Things have changed for Mapstone, and not for the better. To begin with, Maricopa County Sheriff Mike Peralta—Mapstone’s mentor, the man who persuaded all concerned that a former history professor might be uniquely qualified to tackle high-profile cold cases—no longer has his back. Peralta has lost an election to a lesser, shrewder candidate, souring Mapstone on the whole business of law enforcement. Having surrendered badge and gun, he now awaits word from Arizona State University about a possible return to academe, a prospect he regards with mixed feelings that don’t include enthusiasm. Meanwhile, his domestic arrangements are unsettled. His wife, Lindsey, is away from home. Robin, her extremely attractive half sister, is very much not. Into this dangerously volatile mix, FedEx delivers a package addressed to Robin. What it contains is so unexpected and so shocking that the map of Mapstone’s life will be altered beyond recognition.
Though a gripping beginning loosens its hold somewhere around the middle, tough but vulnerable Mapstone will keep you hooked at the sticking point.