Dunne, March 2005, 22.95, 224 pp.
In the small town of Post Oak, Texas, barber Joe Junior McBride is revered and respected by the townsfolk for his kindness to those less fortunate than himself. He adores his wife Marlene and her daughter Ashley and spoils his son Trey who is hateful to his stepmother and stepsister. The town is shocked when it is discovered that Joe Junior was killed in his very own home.
At first the sheriff and Judge Jackson Crain assume it was a robbery gone bad but physical evidence points to the fact that it was an inside job. Marlene says she was upstairs taking a shower when her husband was killed while Trey who was supposed to be out of town was spotted by numerous people. Just when it looks like her life couldn't get any worse for Marlene, who was cut out of her husband's will, her daughter goes missing and as days go by, hopes for her safe return diminish. Joe's brother, who was in love with Marlene, is murdered and Trey avoids coming in for questioning to the sheriff who starts to believe that he might be the killer.
Nancy Bell portrays what it is like living in a small Texas town off the beaten track where everyone knows their neighbor and a stranger is immediately recognized. Judge Jackson is the person everyone goes to when they have a problem because if he can't solve it professionally, he acts as a friend to those in need and leaves them feeling better about the situation.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner