Poisoned Pen Press, Dec 2002, 4.95, 308 pp.
Bill Roland Eklund, the owner of the Double Horseshoe Ranch in Tatum, New Mexico lost three heads of cattle over a three-month period. He has filed claims worth over $600,000 with United Life and Casualty but before they remit such a huge some of money, they want to make sure there is no fraud involved so they dispatch Dan Mahoney to find out what is going on at the reach.
Before he reaches the ranch, Dan witnesses a double homicide. When one of the victims, Eric Linden turns up alive, he contacts Dan to tell him that he took the fall for Billy a drug charge and expected two million dollars waiting for him when he got out of prison. Now Eric wants revenge and he intends to find the evidence to give to Dan that will send his former employer to jail for life. Dan has a lot of problems with this scenario including the fact that he likes Billy and is in love with Eric's wife who is divorcing him.
The hero doesn't realize why he is out in the field after years behind a desk, but that doesn't stop him from solving the case in a very unique manner, helping the FBI find the real drug dealer and falling for his sister's best friend. Though relationships make solving the case harder on Dan's conscience, the story line is exciting and action packed. Susan Slater's new series is compelling and will lead the audience to want to read the next installment as soon as possible.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner