I received this from NetGalley from St. Martin’s Press and Minotaur Books in exchange for an unbiased review.
I absolutely loved this book. The protagonist was smart, witty and genuinely likable. He was someone I could see myself hanging out with and enjoying a chat. His sense of humor is closely aligned with my own and it was as if he was an old friend.
The tale takes place in the Nevada Big Rocks area near Caliente as well as the surrounding areas. The atmosphere and desert play a large role in the tale. As well, the nuclear testing in the nearby areas that took place in the 1950s is also integral to the story. Russian spies and national security secrets create tension.
The opening scene is pretty gory but it sets the tone for the danger that hangs over the entire book. There are so many moving parts to this story, it’s a rich delight to the reader.
All the characters were well drawn and intriguing. I especially enjoyed the relationship the protagonist had with his father and sister. They seemed like a real-life family. Close but not afraid to be truthful with each other and even make each other angry but still have each other’s backs.
The hero had an interesting past and also had a bit of a handicap with night blindness that added a second layer of drama to the tale. He was definitely someone to root for and that’s always something this reader needs to have in a book. I’m definitely not a reader who likes anti-heroes.
The story was complex and satisfying. It moved seamlessly from the current time to the 1950s and the pace was well done. The mysteries unfolded at a good rate and kept me turning the pages.
I really enjoyed this book and thank the author for creating such a great character in the hero, a complex back story and a well done, intriguing plot. I hope there are more adventures in store with the sheriff of Lincoln County.
Porter Beck is the sheriff in the high desert of Nevada, north of Las Vegas. Born and raised there, he left to join the Army, where he worked in Intelligence, deep in the shadows in far off places. Now he’s back home, doing the same lawman’s job his father once did, before his father started to develop dementia. All is relatively quiet in this corner of the world, until an old, retired FBI agent is found killed. He was brutally tortured before he was killed and clues at the scene point to a mystery dating back to the early days of the nuclear age. If that wasn’t strange enough, a current FBI agent shows up to help Beck’s investigation.
In a case that unfolds in the past (the 1950s) and the present, it seems that a Russian spy infiltrated the nuclear testing site and now someone is looking for that long-ago, all-but forgotten person, who holds the key to what happened then and to the deadly goings on now.