Wednesday, September 27, 2017

"The Dead of Night" by Jean Rabe

This book starts off shortly after recently elected Sheriff Piper Blackwell has passed the sheriff's exam, thus earning the right to keep her job. She has gone to the park to meet with an elderly gentleman who is often considered by many to be prone to conspiracy theories. Not too many of the locals seem to take his complaints too seriously.

Mark "the Shark" Thresher explains to her that he has been robbed, his bank account drained of a lifetime of savings. He may or may not be a bit on the crazy side, but Piper promises to find out who took his money and to get it back for him. It is quite late and raining very hard when he leaves the park, asking Piper to wait a bit to make certain that he isn’t being followed. As she is leaving, she slips in the mud and trips over some bones that were uncovered by the rainstorm.

The bones appear to be that of a child, seemingly murdered and buried in the park a very long time ago. Who did they belong to? And why doesn’t there seem to be an open case for a missing child from around that time? A case that old will be more difficult than usual to solve, yet that is just what she intends to do.

These are two very difficult cases for Piper and the others in the sheriff’s office to solve. Add to that the fact that they are still short-staffed and need to hire several people to fill in the gaps, stop someone who is repeatedly destroying neighborhood mailboxes, and of course deal with the usual drunk drivers and other problems that arise in any small town and you can imagine how busy everyone in the sheriff’s department is. Piper has been learning a great deal in the few months she has been sheriff, and while growing more confident in her position she still feels her lack of experience quite strongly.

Piper’s father has been declared cancer free, and she wonders if he is considering running for Sheriff once it is again time for an election. She feels that if he does, he would likely regain the office quite easily. He has the experience she lacks and is still recognized as having been a great sheriff. If he did become the sheriff she could then rejoin the military, but does she really want to? She may not have expected to win the election originally, but now that she has been in the office for a while, she is coming to enjoy the job and starting to earn the respect of those she works with.

Then Piper starts to feel like someone is following her. She starts receiving emailed threats coming from her own account telling her to leave the case alone if she values her life. Her car has a brick thrown at it and obscenities painted on the sides. Someone clearly doesn’t want her trying to solve one of the cases that she is working on.

This book had so many twists and turns that it kept me guessing the entire way through (usually incorrectly). I very definitely recommend reading this one. My only complaint is that the next book in the series is still being written by the author, meaning that I’ll need to wait quite some time before I can buy a copy to read. I’m looking forward to that release date, even though I realize that it will be some time yet as this book was only just recently released.

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