A young woman’s body is found smoldering in the fire pits of Campbell’s Run, Pennsylvania, and small-town police chief Dove Carnahan is on the case.
O’Dell (One of Us, 2014, etc.) returns with a captivating mystery. Who hated Camio Truly enough to not only bash her head in with a blunt object, but also ditch her body in a fiery grave? As Dove investigates, she’s assisted by Nolan, a gruff detective with the State Criminal Investigations Division and her sometime lover. Practically nobody lives in Campbell’s Run anymore, not since a sinkhole (which had been lurking underground after a mine fire) opened, sucking most of the town into its depths. Since then, Campbell’s Run has declined, as people with the means moved away to nearby Buchanan, so whoever dumped Camio’s body there must be a local. Even before Camio’s murder, the Truly family had had more than its share of troubles, including incarcerated sons and deaths by mayhem, but Dove is shocked at the apathy shown by Camio’s mother, the obese, television-addicted Shawna. Camio’s sister, Jessyca, a single mother, shows far more concern, although she makes little effort to hide her dislike of her younger, more ambitious sister. Yet under the thumb of matriarch Miranda Truly, Camio’s family clams up. Solving the case is further complicated now that Lucky Dombosky has been released from jail after serving 35 years for murdering Dove’s mother. Lucky claims Dove and her sister, Neely, framed him. Meanwhile Dove’s brother, Champ, has shown up, after his own long absence, with a precocious son in tow. O’Dell spins a fine tale, ratcheting up tension with every turn of the screw in Dove’s life and every downward spiral in the Truly family history.
Filled with surprising twists and turns, this whodunit in a sullen town is a page-turner.