Haunted by the disappearance of his mother when he was eight years old, detective Hud Matthews begins his own investigation to find out what really happened so many years before.
When a rare murder occurs in the lakeside community, Hud's veteran skills are called upon to capture the killer. Pulled deep into the threads of the community with ties to the past, Hud quickly becomes a target, not only of the killer, but of those who wish the past to be left alone.
As Hud gets closer to discovering the truth about the crimes, he has to face a choice of enforcing the law, or stepping outside of it to make sure that his version of justice is served.
I do like small town crime fiction. Another trope to which I’m also partial is the return of a long time absent son to the community where he was raised. Larry D. Sweazy offers both here, so from the outset I was fairly confident I was on to a winner with this book.
Hud Matthews was being raised by his mother and grandmother, when his mother disappeared. The pair never stopped looking for her during the rest of his childhood. Fast forward to the present day, Hud’s grandmother Gee has now passed and after an incident in Detroit – the violent death of one of Hud’s informants at his hands - Hud has left the big city and returned back to his hometown community.
First day on the new job and a body has turned up lakeside, a young woman has been shot. Hud on the local police force, under the watchful eye of Paul Burke, the local police chief and a childhood friend of our main man, is involved from the outset.
Hud is viewed with mistrust and resentment from other members of the small team, as well as encountering difficulties from locals, who remember him as a boy and had a relationship with his mother. One thing you know in a mystery of this type if you tell someone to leave something alone, they’re going to do the exact opposite. Cue more digging.
Small town mystery, an escalating present day series of crimes and the obsession of one man and his past which he can’t escape. The presence of his absent mother looms large on every page.
Great setting, interesting characters, and a riveting mystery – are the present day crimes linked to the past, who can be trusted, who has something to hide? Sweazy is fast turning into one of my favourite authors.
Lots to like here.
4.5 from 5
I’ve previously read two books from this author from his Marjorie Trumaine series – See Also Murder and See Also Deception. Another standalone – A Thousand Falling Crows still awaits.
Larry D. Sweazy has a website here. As well as authoring over a dozen novels he works as an indexer.
Read in February, 2017
Published – 2017
Page count – 254
Source – review copy from Seventh Street Books (cheers to Jake)
Format – ARC paperback