Ex-cop Cam Richter returns to the North Carolina backwoods for a blood feud with backwoods royalty.
In a certain remote section of the Smoky Mountains, the Creighs rule by Divine Right. Just ask M.C. Mingo, sheriff in perpetuity of Robbins County. Better yet, ask the clan’s matriarch, Grinny Creigh, who spins her gluey web over what the locals have learned to call Spider Mountain. Why is she called Grinny? Because she grins “the way a hungry witch grins at a fat little child who blunders into her cauldron room asking about lunch.” Responding to an SOS from his park ranger friend Mary Ellen Goode, whose young protégé has been brutally beaten by an assailant thought to be outfitted in Creigh livery, Richter, ever sensitive to his inner knight, turns up ready to slay dragons. He gathers up Frick and Frack, his brave and brilliant German Shepherds, and goes hunting where no one unapproved by the Creighs dares hunt. In response, the arrogant, supremely confident Creighs declare open season on Richter, expecting a quick and easy kill. But now they’re dealing with the stuff of series heroes, and Richter vs. Creigh is a battle royal.
Most Deutermann novels (The Cat Dancers, 2005, etc.) are character-driven. Here, slam-bang action outweighs nuance. The result is best for short attention spans.