A fast-paced plot with plenty of false leads keeps the reader turning the pages.--Publishers Weekly
When a powerful development company sets its sights on Mason Country, Virginia, as the location for a sprawling resort for the rich, the locals begin taking sides. Many residents see the resort as economic salvation for the small Blue Ridge Mountains community, while others fear the county will become financially dependent on a predatory company.
Few oppose the development more vocally than veterinarian Rachel Goddard. She sides with locals reluctant to sell their land and, in the process, complicates the life of her new husband, Sheriff Tom Bridger.
When a beloved couple is gunned down on the very farm they refused to sell, it seems supporters will stop at nothing to ensure the success of the resort. Now disagreement in the community has exploded into civil war with both sides lashing out. As the violence escalates, Rachel discovers the attacks are more sinister than they appear. Can she bring the truth to light before her community tears itself apart?
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About the Author
Plans to build a resort in rural Virginia start an uncivil war. Many of the locals see the new resort as Mason County's chance for much needed jobs, even if they're minimum wage with no benefits. Since some of the people whose land is required dream happily of a big payoff while others adamantly refuse to sell, it's neighbor against neighbor. Veterinarian Rachel Goddard tries to walk a fine line, since her husband, Sheriff Tom Bridger, must remain impartial, but the developers' smug arrogance drives her to speak her mind. When a couple who refuse to sell are found shot, Tom and Rachel have to wonder if their deaths were intended to move the land deal along. But they're confounded by the murder of a woman who'd planned to sell her place. The murdered couple's children start a war of their own when the son, who's deeply in debt, learns that his sister is getting three-fourths of the assets. After Rachel's friend Joanna McKendrick, a vocal opponent of the scheme, loses her barn to arson, Tom learns that many people on both sides of the issue have been getting threatening letters and suffering petty vandalism. Three sisters who haven't made up their minds are in constant fear. Tom warns them and all the anti-resort forces to be extra careful, since he and his deputies have their hands full with violent demonstrations. Though she worries about threats from Tom's job, Rachel can't sit on the sidelines, especially once their nephew is threatened. But it won't be easy to find out if the murders stem from the fight over the resort or from a much more personal motive. Parshall (Bleeding Through, 2012, etc.) expertly maintains the tension between warring factions until the surprising conclusion.--Kirkus Reviews
Farm families in southwestern Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains struggle to survive in Parshall's strong sixth mystery featuring veterinarian Rachel Goddard (after 2012's Bleeding Through). A large development company's decision to build a resort in Rachel's county divides the region between those anxious to accept generous checks and promises of new jobs and those who want no part of the scheme. When a well-liked couple is gunned down in their own backyard, the lines are drawn between the opposing factions. A third murder leads Rachel's husband, the county sheriff, to question whether the murders may be motivated by drugs or old grudges, rather than the standoff over the proposed development. Parshall does a good job depicting the close-knit community and the strife that arises when the residents are pitted against each other in a depressed economy. A fast-paced plot with plenty of false leads keeps the reader turning the pages. (Mar.)--Publishers Weekly