Zero at the Bone

Mary Willis Walker, Author
Mary Willis Walker, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-312-06495-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 306 pages - 978-0-553-57505-7
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Texas dog trainer Katherine Driscoll embarks on a perilous quest to unravel family mysteries in Walker's gripping debut. Her mortgage in default, Katherine is devastated by the imminent loss of her house, kennel and beloved golden retriever. A startling solution presents itself when her father, whom she has not seen in 30 years, writes to say that her big loan will be paid in full in return for a small favor. While the note does not mention what the favor will be, Katherine resolves to meet Lester Renfro and find out if he really is a ``maniac,'' as her mother claimed. Upon arrival in Austin, she learns that veteran zookeeper Renfro has been killed by a tiger. Arguing that the keeper had been set up for the kill by someone who had sent Renfro a threatening note, Police Lt. Bernard Sharb tries to talk Katherine out of taking a job at the reptile house in the Austin Zoo. But Katherine is determined to remain in town until she answers an increasing number of questions. Why had Renfro been sending half his salary to a mystery woman? Why had her wealthy grandmother disowned her mother? Why is Renfro's attorney shot and impaled on the antlers of a deer? And why had her father left her photos of endangered African animals being led off of trucks? Katherine takes risks that put her at the cusp of unrelated, but lethal dangers. Very believable players make the resolution all the more harrowing. (Dec.)
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