An unlikely pair of sleuths find there’s no escaping the past, whether or not it’s their own.
Veterinarian Rachel Goddard and Police Captain Tom Bridger have moved to Mountainview, Va., trying to forget the violence that overtook them in their debut (The Heat of the Moon, not reviewed). Several skeletons are unearthed on a nearby mountain, including that of Pauline Turner McClure, a beautiful Melungeon of mixed-race ancestry who married into a wealthy family and vanished after the death of her husband, leaving her daughter Mary Lee to inherit a large estate. As a half-Melungeon, Tom is more than a little interested in the case, especially since it was one of the rare failures in his father’s career. When Holly Turner, Pauline’s look-alike animal-loving niece, gets a job at Rachel’s clinic, Holly’s relatives and her father, the local drug dealer who’s the prime suspect in Pauline’s murder, want her to return home, perhaps because her nightmares may reveal too much about the strife-ridden past of the McClures and the Turners. Meantime, Tom gets shot by a suspect and Rachel is threatened and fired upon when she refuses to let Holly’s relatives drag her away from her new life. Tom must dig deeply into a case that threatens his respect for his father, and Rachel must face her worst fears before a violent confrontation brings closure.
Fast-paced, chilling and compulsively readable.