A small-town police chief follows the evidence where it takes her, even at the risk of her career.
Josie Gray heads a three-officer police force in the one-stoplight west Texas town of Artemis. But she likes the open spaces and the quiet of the road that she shares with only one other neighbor. When a car drives slowly past her house for the second night in a row, it’s not enough to frighten her, but it does make her wish her lover, Nick Santos, weren’t off negotiating with a kidnapper in Mexico. Josie thinks it unlikely that anyone would be foolish or desperate enough to ford the Rio Grande so close to her house when there are better, safer places to enter the country illegally. After the car comes back a third time, Josie takes action but not fast enough: she finds the body of a young woman shot in the back in her neighbor’s pasture. A second girl is alive but cowering on Josie’s porch and too traumatized to speak. With the help of Nick and her dedicated fellow cops, Josie, though distracted by her mother’s unexpected visit, pieces together the story of the surviving girl. Isabella Dagati was lured from Guatemala along with four other girls by the promise of a better life in the U.S. Escaping captivity with one of the others just before leaving Mexico, she crossed the border with her fellow prisoner and came on purpose to find Josie. Now one of the girls is dead and the other three are unaccounted for. A revelation about who’s behind Isabella’s plight pushes Josie to take a step that leaves her with neither power nor authority—only a stubborn determination to stop the trafficking.
Even though Fields (Firebreak, 2015, etc.) still includes indiscriminate details about hair color and fashion choices, she’s settled into a brisker style, and her fourth case finds her gutsy cop a little less angst-ridden.