In Daniels’ carefully plotted western, with lush descriptions of the Montana country, a cold case murder has the entire town in its spell. None of the characters can escape the taint of the brutal crime. Daniels is a noted series writer, but sadly it appears she had some trouble adapting to the longer book format, as her characters feel slightly underdeveloped and the story drags a bit in places. But her love of the countryside carries the reader through.
Eleven years ago Ginny West was cruelly murdered. Almost everybody in town is sure the killer was Carson Grant, golden son of the meanest rancher in the area. Carson had been madly in love with Ginny, but they had recently broken up. When new evidence emerges in the case, Carson is forced to return home from Las Vegas. Destry, Carson’s sister, has been running the ranch for 11 years. She lost the love of her life, Ginny’s brother, on the night of Ginny’s murder. Rylan could not forgive Destry for defending her brother, who he is sure is the killer. Now Rylan has come home to help his family, and all the star-crossed players are back together. Just how many secrets are hidden in this small town? (HQN, Nov., 344 pp., $7.99)