cover image Hideout: An Alice Vega Mystery

Hideout: An Alice Vega Mystery

Louisa Luna. Doubleday, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-0-385-54553-2

In Luna’s exhilarating third Alice Vega mystery (after 2020’s The Janes), wealthy Anton Fohl asks the Sacramento Valley private eye to find Zeb Williams, a man Fohl’s wife dated during college who disappeared in 1984 at the end of the Big Game between Cal and Stanford. With seconds left in the fourth quarter and the score tied, Cal kicker Zeb was supposed to attempt a field goal, but instead he picked up the football and ran toward the wrong goal and out of the stadium, heading for parts unknown. Vega travels to Ilona, Ore., the last place Fohl says Zeb was seen. In Ilona, she meets schoolteacher Cara Simms, a target of harassment and vandalism, who confirms that Zeb lived there for a short while a few years earlier. When the town’s “ethically challenged sheriff” proves less than interested in investigating the crimes against Cara, Vega noses around and unearths a local branch of a white nationalist network, with which Zeb was apparently involved. Vega’s PI partner, Max Caplan, lends support, but it is the no-nonsense Vega who carries the day. Readers will want to see a lot more of this kick-butt hero. Agent: Mark Falkin, Falkin Literary. (Mar.)