A woman with a past sees it come back to haunt her.
Merry McCoy’s returned to her hometown of Hazel, Mont., after being released from the Texas jail where she spent four years for killing her rapist. It would have been ruled justifiable homicide if her ex-husband had only believed that his best friend could rape her. Now that her cousin Lauri’s in a similar situation, Merry’s not about to see her railroaded by the same good-old-boy network, especially if she didn’t even pull the trigger. It’s true that the self-indulgent Lauri was stalking her former boyfriend Clay and even went so far as to trash the apartment of the nurse he was dating, but Merry can’t see her shooting him. Although Merry already has a nasty town cop on her case looking for an excuse to catch her on a parole violation, she’s fortunate to have a parole officer who’s known her for most of her life and a former boyfriend, police officer Jamie Gutierrez, who has her back even though his wife doesn’t much like Merry. Clay’s pothead roommate is a suspect in his killing. So is that nurse. But hunting down clues is not Merry’s only preoccupation. Someone’s determined to buy the ranch her mother left her, and the neighbor who’s been renting the property will no longer do so. A fire and homicide at another neighbor’s and Merry’s suspicions about a medical relief program put her square in the sights of the killer.
In a departure from her lighthearted crafting mysteries (Deadly Row to Hoe, 2012, etc.), McRae pens a darker story filled with repressed anger and sexual tension.