The series that began with the award winning, The Territory, and continued in Scratchgravel Road, continues in the recently released Wrecked. While this novel could be read as a standalone, because of the numerous references to the two prior books scattered throughout this novel, readers who have read the earlier works will appreciate this one more. Some of those references are clear spoilers for the prior books.
Deep in southwest Texas in the Big Bend region lays the small town of Artemis, Texas. A small border town where folks struggle to survive despite the economy of the region as well as the violence that occasionally spills across the border into Texas. Chief of Police Josie Gray knows firsthand about the violence that comes across the border and might prefer that to local politics.
The idea that Mayor Steve Moss would show up at her door one morning at 6:30 am is something she has never had to contemplate before. This spring morning he has arrived unannounced and she is less than thrilled to see him no matter what he wants. She has been Chief of Police for six years now and their mutual distrust has steadily grown. According to the Mayor, a local woman by the name of Roxanne Spar, went to one of the officer the night before and filed some sort of harassment/stalking charge on Moss. Not only does Chief Gray know nothing about the case or the charge, Moss thinks she should destroy all the paperwork on the case because he said to do it. That won't happen under Gray's watch and the Mayor should have known that.
Of course, Moss should not have put himself in to a position that a woman could accuse him of wrong doing. If he wasn’t smart enough to know that as Mayor, he should have known that as a married man. For Chief Gray Moss’s problems at home and politically are going to become nearly meaningless as in a few hours her boyfriend, Dillon Reese, will disappear.
The next seven days are a nightmare for Chief Gray as she has to take a backseat in the investigation and search for Dillon. Haunted by her actions in the early hours when she wasn't aware he was missing, she can't do much of anything as the days pass and Dillon remains in the clutches of the kidnappers. Having to step aside and let others run things their way is a role guaranteed to drive her crazy if her own emotions about the events don't make her snap first.
The latest in the series from author Tricia Fields is a good read. While the previous books were more police procedural oriented, this one is considerably more psychological suspense as it shifts through the various character viewpoints. Of course the police work is still present, but the primary focus is on what Dillon’s disappearance does to Chief Gray and others as well as what being kidnapped does to Dillon. Guilt, rage, and angst are the main components for all in differing amounts as the case drags on day after day with no easy answers. Despite the occasionally travelogue feel to the series, the reads are complex and feature realistic characters and multiple interesting storylines. As noted, this is one of those series best read in order from the beginning.
Minotaur Books (Thomas Dunne Book)
Hardback (also available in e-book and audio)
Material supplied the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library System.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2014