Five Star, Feb 2003, 25.95, 282 pp.
In Fortier Beach, North Carolina, Chief of Police Dan Munday investigates a call from two boys who found a sneaker containing the remains of a human foot. That later turns out to be that of a male between 15 and 20 years old. Not long after that, Dan begins investigating the apparent suicide of a high school student, Hillary Aycock. This particular death hits the forty-five year old Dan harder than usual because his teenage daughter that he raises by himself attends the same school and knew Hillary.
At about the same time Claredon County Deputy Sheriff Clare Thomas is assigned to stop the violence in the local high school. Soon she finds herself working with Dan looking for two missing teens. Already secretly sweet on one another, working in close proximity begins to blossom into a romance if Dan can ignore that the woman he desires is two decades younger than he is.
This is an exciting police procedural that works extremely well when the two lead law enforcement officials either are on an investigation or their personal lives are displayed. When best-selling author Hugh Zachary pontificates about the current state of the school systems, the story line feels disrupted. Sub-genre readers will want Dan and Clare to make future appearances, but without the fuzzy math.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner