Ballantine, June 2004, 23.95, 214 pp.
Fifty years ago in the farming area of Pepin County Wisconsin, someone killed the Schuler family murdering the parents, their four young children and a baby. Nobody was ever prosecuted for the crime but the victims were German and there was a lot of lingering resentment towards them because of what happened in WW II. Only the police and a reporter at the time know that the smallest finger from each body was cut off.
In the present, someone wants the truth about what happened on July 7, 1952 to surface. That person steals two very toxic insecticides to kill the flowers outside the sheriff office. Next he poisons a family's chickens and escalates to dumping the insecticide into lemonade being sold at the Fourth of July festivities, putting one man in a coma and hospitalizing four others. Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins races against time to catch the perpetrator before he does his big finale on July 7, the anniversary of the Schuler slayings.
There is a lot more action than in Mary Logue's previous books (GLARE ICE and DARK COULEE), but she doesn't short change her characters who are fully developed. In the middle of the investigation, the heroine's boyfriend proposes and she finds it difficult to talk about the subject because she is so focused on the case. Readers will like this genuinely good person, her lover who understands the demands of her job and Claire's young daughter wise beyond her years. BONE HARVEST is a compelling and absorbing reading experience that readers will find challenging.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner