The murder of a man with a penchant for using fake names, who was found shot to death in an abandoned Clearview, Tex., school building, drives Crider’s fine 25th mystery featuring Sheriff Dan Rhodes (after 2017’s Dead, to Begin With). The day before the murder, Rhodes rescued the man, then calling himself Cal Stinson, from a local troublemaker, Kenny Lambert, who ran him off the road and then pulled a gun on him. The lawman defused the situation, but after Stinson is killed, Rhodes wonders whether Lambert still intended Stinson harm. The investigation dovetails with Clearview Mayor Calvin Clement’s awkward request that Rhodes discover who’s behind a new website that has embarrassed Clement’s administration. Rhodes learns that Stinson’s real name was Lawrence Gates, and that Gates, who launched the website, was obsessed with the debate about what to do with the school where he was found dead. Crider (1941–2018) created a completely plausible fictional sleuth with a welcome sense of humor in Rhodes; fans will miss him. Agent: Kim Lionetti, BookEnds. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2018 Release date: 02/19/2019 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.