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Demand will be high for the eighth entry in this multi-award winning series (after One Was a Soldier). Pregnant Clare is directly in harm's way in this chilling January tale. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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In Agatha-winner Spencer-Fleming's eighth Clare Ferguson/Russ Van Alstyne mystery (after 2011's One Was a Soldier), the individual personal dramas of her leads overshadow the detective work. Clare, an Episcopal priest, and new husband Russ, the police chief of Millers Kill, N.Y., are looking forward to a week's honeymoon. Meanwhile, Clare's pregnancy, which began before their wedding, places her career in jeopardy, and Russ learns that his department may be completely eliminated. Clare's condition evokes conflicting feelings in Russ, whose first wife suffered numerous miscarriages. Russ also fears that Clare's substance abuse before learning she was pregnant will harm the baby. With all those issues to work through, the story's central crime-an act of arson aimed at covering up a double murder-almost recedes into the background. While the couple's complex relationship will engage readers, the very pregnant Clare's active involvement in getting the bad guys strains credulity. Author tour. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Newly married (and pregnant) Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson and Miller's Kill Police Chief Russ van Alstyne are grateful for the solitude of their ice-fishing honeymoon, as they both have a tangle of professional and personal complications to sort. But soon after they arrive, a snowstorm begins burying the region. As the honeymooners make preparations to depart, they encounter a pair of cagey meth heads and find themselves battling criminals and the elements. In the meantime, Miller's Kill is left without Russ to solve the murders of local foster parents and the disappearance of their foster child. Officers Hadley Knox and Kevin Flynn, awkward after an ill-advised fling, are forced to struggle together against terrified witnesses and blizzard conditions to reveal the kidnapping's connection to a local methamphetamine kingpin. This novel, the eighth starring Clare Fergusson and Russ van Alstyne, is among the best in the series, combining steady action with complex, sympathetic characters and an immersive setting. Clare and Russ are an unusual but fitting pair, and Spencer-Fleming perfectly captures the contrasting emotions of love and frustration that define marriage. Readers seeking tales of city crime reaching small towns will love the well-crafted setting and story but shouldn't expect a cozy; there's plenty of grit here.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2010 Booklist