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Warning: This is a cozy mystery. This genre is an acquired taste.
In order to appreciate cozy mysteries click here for an in-depth definition
At 12 Harry Dreiser witnesses his mother’s suicide. He is traumatized and damaged as any normal person would be. He is haunted by his emotions and experience such that he cannot escape his past. This evolves to something sinister and all he wants is revenge. Decades later he embarks on a massacre at Riverview Elementary School in Ames that leaves five kids and two teachers dead and one survivor.
A woman in her sixties, Sarah Cumberland is arrested and the only evidence against her is the murder weapon in her possession, an antique gun that has been in her family for generations.
Summer McCloud is called in to help in the investigation for her psychic skills. In a customary fashion, the ghost of Sadie Cumberland, Sarah’s grandmother, who worked at Riverview when it was a Recruitment Centre before, who had lost a son and husband to World War Two, reaches out to Summer urging her to ask the police to take a second look at the antique gun. Another set of prints is found. They belong to Grant Cumberland, Sarah’s grandfather. Sarah , under suicide watch in jail ,tells her that nobody outside her family knew about the gun except a man she dated called John Smith, the same man who had visited her last known relative Lucille Cumberland, her father Timothy’s sister.
The quest for justice leaves the small town of Ames in the verge of hysteria. It is a triangle of crime that would uncover an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister. And what happened to the shooter, totally unexpected.
And we finally find out what happened to Jerry. It’s a basic cop formula where Jerry takes an assignment to work undercover to take down drug dealers. The conviction of how the author represents the story and intertwines the revelation of Jerry’s disappearing/no contact act from the second book with his relationship to the police chief, Sandra Marshall, in relation to the crime he and Summer are solving is wonderfully crafted.
I am giving this installment three stars because I kind of felt that the relationship between Summer and Jerry could be made into a spin-off of the series, I wasn’t confused about what was happening but I just couldn’t fully connect to it. I have no doubt that some people would enjoy it more than I did.