Spencer, Maryland Police Chief David O’Callaghan, son of the late police chief Patrick plus friend and half-brother to Mac Faraday, looks forward to his marriage with Chelsea Adams, who suffers from epilepsy and relies on her service dog Molly for support. However, it turns out that he had already married and didn’t divorce Yvonne Harding, his old flame, old friend on Deep Creek Lake, and host of Crime Watch at the Zenith News Channel in New York City. Thus, David, Mac, and the latter’s dog Gnarly, the only canine dishonorably discharged from the United States Army, adventure to the Big Apple to dissolve the former’s marriage, and has a time limit of five days.
Preceding the prologue is a quote from James Dobson, a notable psychologist, with the advice that people marry not the person one can think they can live with, but rather the person they think they can’t live without. The story itself begins in medias res, at East River in New York City, where Dan Sauer collapses onto the pavement, bloody from gunshot wounds, with David being responsible for the person’s condition. Then the story takes readers back two days at the County Clerk’s Office in Oakland, Maryland, where David is happy to be engaged to Chelsea, with a clerk named Edna about to certify their union only for the discovery that the former is already wed to Yvonne Harding.
The first chapter exposes some backstory on one of the novel’s settings, Spencer, Maryland, which was named after its founder, Agatha Christie-eseque author Robin Spencer being among the establisher’s descendants. The book is generally decent, although there were some slow portions and forgettable parts, and keeping track of the characters can be somewhat troublesome, given the lengthy list of dramatic personae, although a list of them appears before the main text. Perhaps the easy of forgetfulness can be attributed to the book being eleventh in its series. Even so, it’s far from a bad book, and this reviewer would definitely recommend it to those looking for a good thriller, and evidently those who enjoyed its predecessors.
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday and Lovers in Crime Mysteries and the Thorny Rose Mysteries. Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real live Gnarly!) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.