Finally, I read the first in a new series instead of bouncing in at some point into it!
This is the first Maggie Blackthorne novel, and a terrific story it is. Sgt. Maggie Blackthorne finds a pair of ne’er do well brothers poaching a deer. She’s unable to bring them in, and intends to turn it over to the Fish & Game officer who shares the Sheriff’s Office space in the sparsely populated and large county that is their jurisdiction. Before she can do that, however, she receives a panicked call from one of the brothers that ends abruptly with a gunshot.
Blackthorne finally finds the location from which the brothers have called only o find both them and their dog murdered. Thus begins a rather engaging mystery, with a female main character who doesn’t feel the need to pretend to be younger than she is, or waste time looking in a mirror every chapter and fretting she looks any differently than she does. It’s rather refreshing, really.
She does have an abusive ass of an ex-husband who is also now her boss. He turns up a couple of times, but he works in another city and fortunately, we don’t have to see much of him. In the course of her investigation, it turns out a new man – someone she’s known for practically forever – has some romantic interest in her, and refreshingly, it isn’t a jump into bed on the first date sort of thing. Instalove just isn’t for me except in certain genres where it’s expected.
The investigation itself winds on, putting Blackthorne and her squad into contact with quite a number of possibly suspects, including some oddball man and his sons (and a couple of tough guys), who want to raise cattle naturally, an incapacitated patriarch, as well as a couple more dead bodies.
Blackthorne is dogged and intelligent, and the book finishes up well enough for me to look for the sequel.
A solid four out of five stars.
Thanks to Severn River Publishing and NetGalley for the reading copy.