cover image Dead Man’s Tunnel: 
A Hook Runyon Mystery

Dead Man’s Tunnel: A Hook Runyon Mystery

Sheldon Russell. Minotaur, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-00100-9

Set just after the end of WWII, Russell’s richly atmospheric third Hook Runyon mystery (after 2010’s The Insane Train) finds his railroad detective hero exiled to tiresome duty guarding an Arizona salvage yard, where Runyon has failed to catch thieves who’ve been stealing copper wire. Runyon soon gets a more interesting task after a train runs down Sgt. Joseph Erikson while on guard duty in the nearby Johnson Canyon rail tunnel. Given Erikson’s experience, Runyon considers it unlikely that the soldier wouldn’t have seen the locomotive bearing down on him. By rejecting the official theory that the death was accidental, the detective puts himself at odds with his boss and the army. When Runyon uncovers a possible personal motive for Erikson’s murder, he receives little support in pursuing it. A humane, credible lead bolsters a carefully constructed plot. Agents: Michael and Susan Morgan Farris, Farris Literary Agency. (June)