A newly minted Nebraska sheriff faces an unexpected challenge when a Burlington Northern/Santa Fe engineer is murdered on his train.
When Kate Fox won the election against her ex-husband, Ted Conner, folks around Grand County figured it would be OK. The Fox family had lived in Hodgekiss for generations, and besides, even a girl like Kate ought to be able to handle routine traffic stops. No one, least of all Kate, expected that someone would hang a railroad tie from an overpass so that it would smash into a BNSF locomotive, killing the engineer, Chad Mills. Now Kate’s unwilling to hand the case off to state trooper Trey Ridnoir, fearing that her neighbors will think she isn’t up to the job they elected her to do. So she and young Ridnoir enter an uneasy alliance. They investigate together even though Kate resents Trey’s constant attempts to shield her from the danger she sees as just part of her job. But their alliance is tested when Trey zeroes in on Chad’s co-worker Josh Stevens, who seems just a mite too cozy with Chad’s wife, Meredith. Kate’s gut tells her that Josh, brought up in the Amish-like Black Socks sect, would never commit adultery, much less murder. As Kate’s large and loving family swathes her in unhelpful solicitude, urging her to get over Ted and get a life, she grows ever more determined to solve her first official case and prove that she already has one.
Baker’s follow-up to Stripped Bare (2016) pushes her franchise across the cold prairie landscape as steadily and professionally as a BNSF freight train, leaving readers eager for the next stop.