cover image Deception Cove

Deception Cove

Owen Laukkanen. Mulholland, $27 (384p) ISBN 978-0-316-44870-3

Deception Cove, Wash., “a rainy-day kind of place” that’s the atmospheric setting of this superior standalone from Thriller Award finalist Laukkanen (Gale Force), is home to Jess Winslow, a Marine veteran whose service in Afghanistan left her with PTSD. Jess’s husband, Ty, drowned while drunk, and her only companion is Lucy, a therapy dog. Jess receives an unsettling late-night visit from a power-hungry local deputy, Kirby Harwood, who insists that Jess must know the location of a package belonging to him that Ty possessed. Harwood is unwilling to accept Jess’s protestations of ignorance, and his menacing posture prompts Lucy to attack him. When ex-convict Mason Burke, who just finished a prison sentence for homicide in Michigan, hears that Lucy has been designated for destruction after this incident, he’s sure that the dog he took pride in training behind bars wouldn’t have turned violent without good cause. Mason treks out to Deception Cove to save Lucy, a mission that inevitably puts him at odds with Harwood. A crackerjack plot enhances the moving portrayals of the leads’ inner lives. Laukkanen has never been better. [em]Agent: Stacia Decker, Donald Maass Literary. (May) [/em]