Rural Pepin County, Wis., is rocked by the death of a high-school student. Is it accident, suicide or murder?
Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins gets a panicked late-night call from Krista Jorgenson’s mother Emily. Claire’s daughter Meg and Krista had gone to a Halloween party but haven’t returned home. A frantic night of searching culminates in disaster. Krista is found dead at the bottom of the Maiden Rock cliff; Meg isn’t found at all. In the meantime, a meth-lab trailer goes up in flames. The owner’s body is found in the ashes, but her son was rescued by his meth-freak cousin Jason, a classmate of Krista and Meg who’d been helping his addicted aunt and a dealer called Hitch cook up a batch of the volatile brew. Eventually Meg returns home after having spent the night with Curt, Krista’s boyfriend. She’s wracked with guilt, since when she and Kurt told Krista at the party that they were seeing each other, Krista did not take it well. When methamphetamines are discovered in Krista’s body, Claire starts a manhunt for Hitch, who almost certainly gave Krista the drug that caused her death.
Although there’s little mystery here, Logue (Poison Heart, 2005, etc.) provides an acutely rendered tale of addiction and the dangers of crystal meth, the drug of choice in many rural areas.