Dunne, Apr 2004, 24.95, 304 pp.
In Millers Kill, New York, Reverend Clare Fergusson does not have enough money to cover everything so the St. Alban's Episcopal Church roof takes precedence. However, that means somewhere else there is less cash to use and that is in the Jonathon Ketchem Free Clinic though much of that is funded by a family trust. Clinic head Dr. Allan Rouse is upset with the shortfall, but the pressure on him by Deborah Clow to make him stop using vaccines preserved with a dangerous drug seems to have sent him over the top. Rouse vanishes.
Though married and not one to cheat, Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne, accompanied by his alleged lover Clare, investigates the disappearance of the doctor though he expects to find nothing criminal. They shockingly learn that Rouse's disappearance mirrors what happened seven decades ago to Jonathon Ketchem, whose widow funded the clinic in his name. Could foul play have occurred then and now?
Though the who-done-it lacks much suspense even when the culprit locks the dynamic duo in a frozen compartment, fans of the series will appreciate this intriguing look at duplicity and obsessed retribution. The story line cleverly uses flashbacks to provide the audience with key moments involving the Ketchem family and the clinic over the past seventy years. Clare and Russ are an interesting pairing as both have desires for the other but keep them in check because he is married though no one believes they control their deepest urges. The pairing makes the tale as they have in the previous two works (see A FOUNTAIN FILLED WITH BLOOD) they display honor and ethics.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner