Atria, Feb 2004, 24.00, 344 pp.
In Aurora, Minnesota, seventeen years old Charlotte Kane vanishes after being seen at a New Year's Eve Party. A search led by Sheriff Wally Shanno of the Northwoods in frozen January turns up nothing. Four thawing months later, the daughter of wealthy recluse Dr. Fletcher Kane is found dead. The locals have no confidence in Shanno and his staff solving the hideous homicide so many encourage former sheriff turned hamburger establishment owner Cork O'Connor to investigate the crime.
While Shanno leans towards Ojibwa Solemn Winter Moon, whom the victim romantically toyed with, Cork sees several possible other suspects with stronger motives and opportunities. He beings questioning Charlotte's father and Catholic Father Mal Thorne as the former law enforcement official tries to do what he perceives is the right thing, justice for the dead that no longer can obtain such on their own.
BLOOD HOLLOW is a strong private investigative tale with obvious police procedural elements involved due to the official inquiry and the hero's background. The story line brings home the unbearably cold and desolate landscape (keep the heat on) as few novels can so that the background makes the investigation seem even bleaker yet also shows the strength of character of some of the cast especially Cork. Though he makes progress in his family relationships, he sees a bit too ideally perfect unofficially wearing his old sheriff's hat, but fans will appreciate a moral outstanding citizen seeking resolution for someone who is beyond caring what happens.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner