Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book Review: "Deadly Aim" by Patricia H. Rushford

The "quiet" town of Sunset Cove, Oregon has supplanted Cabot Cove, Maine as the murder capital of America by the end of Patricia H. Rushford's Deadly Aim. This romantic, mystery novel with a sprinkling of religious overtones follows Officer Angel Delaney as she is dragged through an internal investigation after she shoots a 12-year-old boy during a failed pharmacy hold-up. He dies. Then things get really nasty after the body count piles up as the Drug Overlord starts to cover his tracks and the African-American community gets stirred up over a white cop gunning down an innocent little boy.

I say romantic, because of the considerable POV shifting between Angel and new cop in town, Detective Callen Riley, whose tasked with finding out what the heck is going on with the boy's death and the increasing body count. Any time two characters share head space, it's not hard to figure out the arc of that part of the story. The other romantic pairings just seem convenient. I say mystery, because it is a whodunit. Several potential suspects weave in and out of the story, but only two seem really plausible. The family play dynamics is well done; the quality of the investigation seems to waver at times from procedural step-by-step accuracy to 'Oh hell, let's wing this.'

Overall though, it is story filled with a lot of reasonably interesting characters, lots of food making and eating, and scenes on a beach (always a plus for me). The author does use her twists and turns to good affect. The tension ramps up, but by the end, I admit, I was saying, let's end this. This is a good plane ride read: not so deep that you forget to get off the plane and end up in Ulan Bator, but good enough that you can ignore the person next to you and their out-of-focus pictures. It squeezes into a size "4".

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