Published: October 6, 2015
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
Sheriff Virgil Dawson has watched the sleep town he grew up in progress to a town that is waking up and it’s done so not always in a good way. The interstate has been something of a boon. But it’s also led to some of the crime that’s come into peaceful Hayward. Until now they’ve done just fine with his deputies Jimmy, Dave and Alex with a little help from retired officer Dif and his right hand woman, Rosie who runs the office and takes the calls. But not long ago a woman he’d come to care about seemed to betray him and at the same time a shocking murder happened in his town. Just when things seem to be settling down, a woman literally drops on to Jimmy’s car while he’s out on patrol. Caught off guard Jimmy crashes and in the aftermath of the accident only bits and pieces of what happened come to his memory.
Meanwhile Rosie ventures out to the Thompson ranch to visit only to find that her friend Velma is dead and her husband gone missing. Virgil tries to make sense of what happened to Velma and her missing husband Charlie while at the same time trying to help Jimmy put the pieces together of his accident and where the unknown woman came from. At the same time a local FBI agent brings him another mystery of the woman Virgil was starting to love. Are the three threads entwined? Or are there three mysteries for Virgil to solve? And can he solve them before yet another member of the Hayward community dies?
Let me start by saying if you haven’t read Frank Hayes you do not know what you are missing. He is the kind of author both men and woman of any age – from teens to seniors – will enjoy. There is something for everyone wrapped up in a solid mystery with the kind of suspense that comes from behind and draws you in. There's a flavor of Longmire but without the violence the last two seasons had. Hayes’s writing is part mystery, part suspense, a modern day cowboy sheriff and even a hint of romance. The writing is solid and Hayes paints such vivid pictures with his words you feel you're there. Just as a sample, in one scene Virgil stands outside his ranch and looks up at the sky and comments that it is like looking at a painter at work. While that may seem like just an everyday kind of statement, it’s the way Hayes paints it in the rest of the scene.
The writing is solid and evenly paced. The characters are fully developed, interesting and each unique in their own way. The secondary characters are just as fascinating as Virgil and each adds to the unfolding of the story.
The mystery and why the murders happen are told in page turner style. Even if you aren’t a fan of mysteries, Hayes writes the kind of story that anyone will enjoy.
As I said, if you haven’t read Frank Hayes, you do not know what you are missing. This is one author to put at the top of your TBR list.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.