ONE WAS A SOLDIER
Spencer-Fleming’s series only gets better as her characters become some of our favorite people with all-too-human problems. Toss in societal and political issues, a pitch-perfect crime story and a grown-up romance, and you’ve got one of the best pieces of crime fiction in a long time.
Episcopalian priest Clare Fergusson and police chief Russ Van Alstyne are looking forward to the future, but Clare’s come home from the National Guard with an addiction to booze and pills. In counseling, she’s linked up with a teenage double-amputee, a cop with anger issues, a doctor with memory problems and a young bookkeeper who turns up dead after receiving orders to go back to Iraq. Now, Clare is asking herself if Tally’s death is really a suicide connected to her deployment or the result of her troubled marriage. Pretty soon, even as she and Russ are planning their wedding, Clare discovers that even in a small town like Millers Kill, N.Y., people are willing to kill to keep their secrets. (MINOTAUR, Apr., 336 pp., $24.99)