Lewis neatly spins out each character's story. There's Kim's own dark past, rising in the corporate world, until "one day a good man turned over an unsuspecting rock and something terrible crawled out." Laurie's past includes rumors of a stint as a nun and, it seems, a reluctant heiress. Cathy also has a backstory that includes a deceased son, which sets in motion other developments. Occasionally, the many stories can be a challenge to keep up with—especially for those who haven't read the earlier books—but readers who pay attention until the end will be glad they did.
And although Lewis does a great job creating absorbing plotlines, the real joy of the book is her sharp eye on the colorful cast of characters and the rhythm of small town life. The portrait of a church service—a lively mix of faith and pettiness—is pitch-perfect. Kim runs a tax prep service, and a scene where she helps an angry and bewildered working-class couple understand tax law is an ideal slice of Americana that neatly highlights the milieu that Kim has to navigate. Lewis handsomely limns Kim's own character, as she observes the grave of a murdered child for whom she is seeking justice. The deft interplay between the gripping stories and well-developed characters makes for exceptionally engaging read.
Takeaway: The latest Colorado Skies mystery features murder, a small town, and gripping storytelling.
Great for fans of: Attica Locke, Kendra Elliot.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A