cover image Disturbing the Dead

Disturbing the Dead

Sandra Parshall, Author . Poisoned Pen $24.95 (326p) ISBN 978-

In Parshall's dark, suspenseful second novel (after 2006's Heat of the Moon ), Mason County, Va., sheriff's deputy Tom Bridger reopens a cold case that his predecessor—his deceased father, John—never fully closed. Ten years earlier, Pauline McClure, a Melungeon woman (of Portuguese and Native American descent) went missing, and when Tom unearths her bones, he discovers she died of an ax blow to her skull. Pauline had married into a snobbish, wealthy white family, and the reopening of her case pits local Melungeons against the white establishment. Additional tension arises when Tom's romantic interest, veterinarian Rachel Goddard (the heroine of Heat of the Moon ), hires and befriends Pauline's teenage niece, Holly Turner, whose connection to the tragedy puts her and Rachel in danger. Both Tom, who's of half Melungeon heritage, and Rachel, who's a recent transplant to Mason County, hoped to leave behind their respective recent violent pasts. Instead, they're drawn into the center of a lethal, gothic drama. (Mar.)