Mapes’ latest is a compelling suspense tale that becomes more engaging as the clues grow in intricacy and fall into place. Multiple plotlines are interconnected and show the reader that bitterness is as poisonous as the deadly chemicals in the story. This is a sequel with enough backstory to dive right in, but reading the books in order helps the reader build a deeper connection with the characters.
Features editor Jack Crittendon stumbles upon a possible cover-up involving Demler-Vargus, the local fiberglass manufacturing plant. Many locals are getting sick, and they claim it is related to the chemicals emitted from the plant. Against his boss’ wishes, Jack begins his own investigation. As people turn up dead or missing, and Jack’s family is threatened, he must decide how much he is willing to risk to uncover the truth and save lives — including his own. (DAVID C. COOK, Feb., 368 pp., $14.99)