BOOK REVIEW: DISTURBING THE DEAD
Deputy Sheriff Tom Bridger and veterinarian Rachel Goddard have each moved to a rural community in the mountains of Virginia to escape - Tom is trying to come to terms with a tragic automobile accident which took the lives of the most immediate members of his family; and Rachel is fleeing the attention of a malicious stalker who has been imprisoned for his crime but is now seeking parole.
When Rachel befriends a young woman from one of the reclusive mountain families in the area and brings her into town to work as a veterinary assistant in her clinic, long simmering hostilities between residents of the town and their mountain neighbors are brought to the surface.
Complicating matters even further, excavations for a new real estate development have unearthed two sets of human bones, and Tom and other officers make the unsettling discovery that the two dead women were members of the same family as the young woman befriended by Rachel.
Tom's investigation pits him against the secrecy, entrenched lies, jealousies, malicious ambitions, ingrained suspicions and feelings of inferiority which have festered for generations in the area. To his dismay, his investigation raises doubts about the integrity of police records maintained by his father who preceded him in the sheriff's department.
Tom's difficulties increase when Rachel becomes the target of several acts of malicious vandalism against her personally and against her brand new clinic. Tom's growing attraction for Rachel compromises his objectivity during his investigation.
Tom and Rachel are an appealing pair of protagonists. Refreshingly, Rachel lets law enforcement do the investigating, in contrast to many female main characters who attempt to take matters into their own hands. DISTURBING THE DEAD is an engrossing read, and I'll look forward to the next book in the series.
REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK
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