cover image Heaven's Fury

Heaven's Fury

Stephen Frey, Atria, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4165-4967-3

The plot of this stand-alone crime thriller from Frey (Hell's Gate) fails to generate much excitement, despite a gruesome murder that may be the work of a satanic cult and scenes set during a crippling snowstorm. Wisconsin sheriff Paul Summers, whose career has been on a downward spiral for years, makes one bad decision after another. In particular, he cheats on his wife by succumbing to the repeated efforts of attractive and well-connected Cindy Prescott Harrison to seduce him. When Harrison is found nailed to the floor of her mansion with her throat slit, Summers fights to retain control of the investigation, despite the obvious conflict of interest and even though he's less than honest about the events surrounding the murder with pretty much everyone. Frey's penchant for delaying the resolutions of cliffhangers in a first-person narrative annoys more than it intrigues. The cloying upbeat ending may strike some as undeserved. (Sept.)