Dunne, April 2003, 23.95, 304 pp.
Clare Fergusson was a US Army Captain helicopter pilot when she got the calling to serve God. She resigned her commission, went into seminary school and graduated to become an Episcopalian Minister in the small Adirondack town of Miller's Kill. She and Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne have kept their distance from each other for over a year because they don't want their mutual attraction to each other to be revealed to his wife.
When two gay men are brutally attacked and a third one is killed Claire finds herself in the middle of the investigation despite Russ' efforts to keep her out of it and safe. Although she takes reckless chances, she discovers some important evidence that leads them to the ringleader of the conspiracy plot. However, Russ and Clare almost lose their lives in a sabotaged helicopter when they try to save a man who is near death even though he played a part in the conspiracy.
Julia Spencer-Fleming follows up her award winning IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER with a great amateur sleuth-police procedural. The protagonists make a good team and their attraction to one another is handled with delicacy and good taste. There are so many red herrings interwoven in the plot that readers won't know why these crimes have been committed until the very last page.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner