A star athlete whose life has fallen apart finds that there’s still no place like home.
Chase Ford, the star of his high school basketball team, won a free ride to college and played for the Lakers before an accident ruined his knee and his career and his dependence on pain pills ruined his marriage to a famous singer. Now he’s paying a short visit to his hometown before he decides whether to accept the offer of an announcer’s job. Despite his success with basketball and women, he can’t shake his unhappy childhood. His mother was paralyzed in an accident, and his coldhearted father’s liaison with the woman he hired to care for the house produced a child Chase has never met. His return coincides with the murders of Jimmie Riley, the star of the Brandon Buffalos basketball team, and of Chase’s old coach. His high school nemesis, Sheriff Lincoln Kendall, is all too eager to tie Chase to those deaths. Chase, who’s secretly been helping those in need by paying their tax bills and other debts, plans to arrange a college account for Dolly Benavidez, his half sister. He still has special friends from high school: Marty, now a sheriff’s deputy; Birdie Hawkins, the game warden who always loved him; and Mercy Saylor, the high school beauty who played Chase and Kendall off against each other. Birdie, who generally has little time for the sheriff, points out a clue from the Riley crime scene: the print of a woman’s size Tony Lama boot, not exactly rare in Colorado farm and ranch country. Chase must sort through numerous suspects and layers of hidden undercurrents if he’s ever to resolve the conflicts in his life.
A humdinger of a first novel that brings together several gripping storylines, an appealingly flawed hero, and an intimate sense of life in small-town America.