Drugs and illegal aliens combine for an absorbing tale in Spencer-Flemings sixth Clare Fergusson mystery set in the small town of Millers Kill, New York For those new to the series, Clare is an Episcopal priest and on active duty with the National Guard who continues to struggle with a turbulent past involving police chief Russ Van Alstyne. Russ has plenty of his own problems centering on the recent death of his wife. Hadley Knox is a single mother of two who recently moved back to Millers Kill in hopes of rebuilding her life. Shortly after beginning work as a deputy with the local police department, Hadley finds herself in a shootout at a quiet farmhouse filled with children that results in Russ being critically injured.
This suspense thriller opens with a police showdown and ends with a blazing inferno, what lies between is a vividly drawn, if improbable plot of murder, abuse, migrant workers and love. Family bonds are strained as the taint of drug running touches small town America in unexpected ways. The plight of illegal aliens is brought into the tale which would be more plausible in a southwest or midwestern setting. Overall, this is another solid entry to the series that will leave fans wondering what’s to become of Clare and Russ.