November 01, 2013

Murder as a storm descends

By Julia Spencer-Fleming
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The world is about to be buried up to its neck in snow and ice. A perfect storm of gigantic proportions is descending on the Adirondacks, and in Through the Evil Days, it becomes yet another enemy to add to an already impressive list. This addictive new entry in Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Russ Van Alstyne/Clare Fergusson mystery series is a worthy successor to the previous books in the award-winning series that began in 2002.

Now married, Millers Kill Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne and Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson are expecting their first child—an unplanned life change that has sent Russ reeling. He feels they need time together to adjust to the upcoming event, so they’re off for a delayed honeymoon at a cabin on a remote Adirondack lake. When the snowstorm begins in earnest, they mistakenly think that being snowed in will leave them snug and warm, holed up with plenty of food for the duration. Wrong!

Back in Millers Kill, New York, police officers Kevin Flynn and Hadley Knox investigate a local house fire that claimed two adult victims and left missing an 8-year-old foster child with a life-threatening illness. As the detectives search for the youngster, the fire becomes a complicated case involving a meth operation in the Adirondack wilds and a host of suspects. The drug connection leads the detectives to an uneasy alliance with an odd husband-wife pair of federal agents—who may have another, more devious agenda.

Kevin and Hadley provide a commanding side story to that of the beleaguered honeymoon couple. Russ and Clare each bring a personal and professional crisis to the isolated cabin—stories they’ve yet to share with each other. These intriguing sidesteps make the book all but impossible to put down.

The chapters jockey back and forth between the Millers Kill cops, as they slip and slide through an increasingly dangerous investigation, and the disastrous and life-threatening scene facing Russ and Clare, stranded by the weather and threatened by the very criminals their compatriots seek. These complicated storylines come together seamlessly, providing readers with an evening or two of nail-biting tension as the crippling snow and ice bring law enforcement and criminals alike to their knees. Hate to offer up that old chestnut, but this is a book not to be missed.

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Through the Evil Days

Through the Evil Days

By Julia Spencer-Fleming
ISBN 9780312606848

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