“Shoulder season” on Martha’s Vineyard is time for a little scalloping until ex-cop J.W. Jackson’s placid life is disturbed by the advent of an assassin.
Joe Begay, J.W.’s old Vietnam buddy, has sent his family away because he thinks he’s being hunted by a mysterious killer known as the Easter Bunny. Although Joe never talks about his work, he’s clearly involved with secret intelligence operations, and several people he worked with have recently met unexpected deaths. Hoping to keep Joe alive, J.W. moves his family to one of the houses he cares for. The arrival of one of Joe’s colleagues, sexy Kate MacLeod, who barely escaped her booby-trapped apartment, brings more jeopardy. When the man who looked to be following her is shot, he turns out to be not the killer but a government agent. Since Kate likes to spread her favors around, some people suspect a spurned lover rather than the Easter Bunny. Things heat up further when Joe’s car explodes in his driveway. With the local police, the feds, and J.W.’s friend Jake Spitz, an FBI agent, all looking into the crimes, it would seem that J.W. could go back to scalloping, but his penchant for trouble keeps him in the thick of things.
Fans of Craig’s usual sedate fare (A Vineyard Killing, 2003, etc.) should know that this installment is more thriller than mystery. But real page-turners have more action and less cooking, fishing and philosophizing.