Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Susan Oleksiw

Pub Date: April 15th, 2006
ISBN: 1-59414-375-7
Publisher: Five Star

A quiet New England seaside town cannot escape the consequences of drug addiction.

The drug culture has deep roots, even in peaceful Mellingham. So police chief Joe Silva (Friends and Enemies, 2001, etc.), an old friend of George and Paul Faroli well aware of their son Ron’s addiction, isn’t shocked when Ron overdoses on OxyContin. But Joe does become suspicious when Ron’s buddy Miles Stine falls to his death. Both men were just out of rehab and supposedly clean, and their deaths make several other young men from their Community Center group very nervous. The investigation becomes more personal when Joe’s girlfriend Gwen McDuffy shares her fears for her teenaged son Philip, a pleasant teen turned rude and surly. Following the trail of drugs, Joe discovers that Miles’s mother had a prescription for OxyC. His fall was probably caused by the mixture of two drugs that together caused hallucinations. When Joe discovers the body of another of Ron’s friends buried in the woods, he realizes that someone is out to eliminate the drug users. His discovery of Philip's secret helps focus his feelings for Gwen and leads to a marriage proposal, a bright spot in an otherwise painful case.

As usual, Oleksiw provides more talk than action in this somber tale of substance abuse. But you can’t help feeling for the sympathetically drawn characters, who could be your neighbors.