This book doesn't have Kearney's older son, also a policeman, whom we have met in several previous books. In this one, Patrick the 10-month old son living near the Pentagon, with Sara Kearney's career army wife, Sara gets a bit of the spotlight. The unusual marriage between Kevin and Sara gets strained a bit, but also becomes more solid as a result. I think they cleared up a bit of the strain too. Sara has a path for herself and Kevin accepted that path when he decided they should marry. Kevin resists some flirtation by some of the women he meets in the course of the book.
Several seemingly unrelated plot threads come together when parts of Kearney's investigation turn out to be things that Sara can help him investigate.
The main plot thread revolves around a young man who supposedly died in a helicopter crash in Viet Nam 30 years before. Or did he? Right now, anything that recalls Viet Nam has some resonance for many of us, and the characters involved in this part of the plot include everything from hippies on communes to rich men who buy their kids' way out of the war.
You can tell, pretty much as soon as we meet the crazy old lady, that she is not, in fact, crazy. It's not a spoiler to tell you that much. The dead man's current wife, on the other hand, is a little more psychopathic than she seems at first.
And when we meet the people to whom the pharmacist has been selling drugs, it's a nice contrast between the old hippies, supposedly all stoned, and the rich people who are currently stoned. I like the irony here.
That should be enough teasers to make you want to read the book fairly soon.
Some would say that if you haven't read ANY of the previous books in the series, you would be better off if you find copies and read them, before starting this book. I have read all the books in the series but somehow feel that you could read this as a stand alone. Of course other might say a full appreciation of what's going on in the plot depends, in part, on knowing our characters' backgrounds.
This might be a case of read this one and you'll want to read the rest. Then again...
While visiting a California ranch, Sant Fe police chief Kevin Kerney stumbles upon the murder of hotel magnate Clifford Spalding. Spalding was definitely a marked man, considering the sordid characters in his life: his conniving wife, her shady lover, and a deranged and bitter ex. But when the case is apparently solved, Kerney's investigation leads him to believe it's not the end of the story at all, just the beginning of a mystery rooted in the strange disappearance of
Spaulding's son thirty years before - and a secret that the old man may have taken to his grave.
I have read every one of McGarrity's books....I have liked them all.