Once again, Liv s vast knowledge of the Black Hills of South Dakota the territory General Custer made famous and the modern day ranchers and environmentalists who live there leads her to unearth critical clues about the Crooked Man. Aided by her elfin sister with rainbow-colored hair, a sad-eyed bloodhound, and a terminally ill Norwegian widow, Liv ultimately identifies the deranged killer. But will her barrage of questions be enough to fend off a fatal blow from the very cane he used to crush the skulls of thirteen other victims?"
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-06-18
- Reviewer: Staff
The relationship between limestone miner Liv Bergen and FBI agent Streeter Pierce, explored in In the Belly of Jonah and Lot’s Return to Sodom, undergoes significant changes in Brannan’s overly complex third contemporary mystery set in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Liv gets some unofficial on-the-job training while boyfriend Streeter and fellow FBI agents Stewart Blysdorf, Jack Linwood, and Jenna Tate investigate a series of killings known as the Crooked Man case. The murder of Ernif Hanson bears all the marks of the earlier killings, but why is someone apparently trying to kill Hanson’s terminally ill widow? A combination of techniques (forensics, archives, and a bloodhound’s trailing skills) leads to a strange series of connections with General Custer’s 1874 Black Hills expedition and a conservation group, Nature’s Way. Missed, mixed, and misinterpreted romantic signals among Liv, Streeter, Jenna, and Jack provide a sexual frisson as the case progresses to an unlikely ending. (Aug.)