A Wisconsin sheriff lets his conscience be his guide.
Dave Cubiak is haunted by his past. Still not over the death of his wife and daughter, the former Chicago cop has retreated to Door County, become sheriff, and started to make a new life for himself when a case that will test all his resources shocks the area. Three World War II heroes about to be honored by the Coast Guard are all found dead, apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning while playing cards at a cabin on the Huntsman property. Terrence “Big Guy” Huntsman, Eric Swenson, and Jasper Wilkins, local boys from the small town of Gills Rock, all enlisted together. A fourth friend, Christian Nils, lost his life in their heroic attempt to rescue 170 men stranded in the frigid waters of the Aleutian Islands. The three surviving friends have all become wealthy businessmen whose deaths would be written off as an accident if not for Cubiak’s feeling that something’s not right. When a neighbor of Big Guy’s shoots her husband dead and confesses to the crime, she avers that they all deserved what they got and then clams up. But she sets Cubiak on the road to some nasty discoveries and a growing list of suspects. Realizing that the heroes were anything but heroic and the suspects more deserving of sympathy than he assumed, Cubiak has some big decisions to make before he puts paid to the case.
The second installment of this first-rate series (Death Stalks Door County, 2014) provides plenty of challenges for both the detective and the reader.