Police Chief Judd Wheeler (Six Mile Creek, 2010, etc.) finds more big trouble in little Prosperity, N.C.
Begin with the savage murder of Steve Samples, a high draft pick for whom most NFL insiders predicted a brilliant future until someone very angry took a butcher’s cleaver to it, leaving a dead cornerback in its glittering wake. Could that someone be a slightly over-the-hill teammate, desperate to protect a threatened career? Unlikely, thinks Police Chief Wheeler while checking it out nonetheless. As a one-time big-city cop, he’s learned that the unlikely, often as not, is only what takes a bit longer to happen. And in that context, there’s the matter of newly arrived Carl Sussman. Is it possible that a registered sex offender has redeemed himself sufficiently during a medium-sized stretch in the slammer to become a valued member of Prosperity society? Clearly, revivalist preacher Alvin Cross doesn’t think so. A sinner is forever a sinner, he inveighs from his pulpit, consigned to a permanent place among the pitchforks, and if a member of the flock chooses to hurry him along, Reverend Cross has only praise for the deed. But is the ranting, haranguing Cross, despite his name, all that likely a suspect? For a paradise so small, thinks Wheeler ruefully, there certainly are plenty of snakes.
A highly satisfying addition to the list of small-town procedurals.