The latest in the Black Falls series is atmospheric and intense -- and the characterizations are top-notch. Occasional flashes of dark humor add a lot too.
Eight months ago, firefighter Sean Cameron's father, Drew, died of exposure on Cameron Mountain. Drew wasn't at fault -- he was murdered by hired killers, who later perished too. Sean and his brothers want to find out who ordered their father's death, and cafe owner Hannah Shay may be the key to the mystery.
But Hannah refuses to cooperate -- in part because she fears that her old friend Bowie O'Rourke may have been involved. Her resistance places her in grave danger, because the person responsible is close by, watching and waiting for a chance to find out what Hannah knows ... and to silence her, if necessary. Sean's determined to keep Hannah safe, but even his considerable resources may not be enough to get the job done. (MIRA, Dec., 384 pp., $7.99)