cover image A Deadly Wilderness: The Ties That Kill

A Deadly Wilderness: The Ties That Kill

Kelly Irvin, . . Five Star, $25.95 (354pp) ISBN 978-1-59414-843-9

At the start of Irvin's solid romantic suspense debut, San Antonio, Tex., homicide detective Ray Johnson (aka “Bible Boy”) is hiking with his girlfriend Susana Acosta's eight-year-old son, when he falls down a ravine and lands near the body of Joey Doyle, the victim of a hired assassin, Lalo Hernandez, who has cut off Doyle's ring finger. When the police discover Joey was the youngest son of a wealthy car dealership owner (apparently unaffected by the auto industry meltdown), they investigate members of Joey's family, starting with his wife, Melody. Aware of her husband's infidelities, Melody had plenty of motive. Ray, a likable Christian cop who's not too holier-than-thou, has to decide whether he stays on the force or studies for the ministry to keep Susana's heart. In contrast stands Hernandez, the aging Latino assassin, whose laconic attitude makes him all too chillingly real. (Jan.)