A drug trial raises suspicions of a veteran when her town is overrun by violence.
When Iraqi veteran Harper Jennings’s husband, Hank, takes a tumble from the roof of the Victorian house they’re rehabbing, her PTSD flashbacks hit an all-time high. Harper, whose students in Cornell’s archaeology department call her “Loot,” begins to relive the ravages of war all too regularly while walking to and from her classroom. That’s a particular shame because her teaching is the one thing that keeps her together while Hank is off doing speech rehab at the local hospital. Although Harper is able to visit Hank daily, it’s hard for her when the only person she feels comfortable confiding in can’t string two words together in exchange. Things take a turn for the worse when one of Harper’s students takes his own life during her class. As if that isn’t trouble enough, Harper is violently attacked, and only her combat skills keep her alive to investigate further. When she discovers a mysterious set of drug trials, she’s sure that they’re somehow connected to the violence. The police and trial doctors investigating aren’t persuaded, especially when all the outrages seem linked more closely to Harper. Violence seems to have invaded the small town where Harper once felt safe, and she’s not sure who to trust or what is real, from her students to local doctors—including those meant to watch over Hank.
A moderately complex plot paced like entries in Jones’ Zoe Hayes series (The Borrowed and Blue Murders, 2008, etc.) but with less comic relief.