From Publishers Weekly
Ike Schwartz returns to his CIA roots in Ramsey's awkward cozy-thriller hybrid, the fifth in the series to feature the Picketsville, Va., sheriff (after 2008's Stranger Room
). While vacationing on the Delaware shore, Schwartz is asked by former CIA comrade Charlie Garland to look into the mysterious disappearance of his niece's fiancé, Nick Reynolds. Reynolds, a pilot and ex-navy man, left an enigmatic voice mail message before he vanished off the radar over the Chesapeake Bay. Schwartz's investigations indicate that Reynolds may have witnessed activities that threaten national security. A Picketsville subplot involving satanic rituals by high school students and missing Communion vessels distracts rather than contributes to the narrative. Ramsay is best when contrasting the smooth professional spies and military men with lively amateurs like the cranky Bunky Crispins, a fiercely independent waterman who shows that it's possible to be a patriot and a rebel at the same time. (June)
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In his fourth outing (after Stranger Room, 2008), Sheriff Ike Schwartz of small-town Picketsville, Virginia, is lured away from a long-overdue vacation and back to the CIA. A former colleague at the agency asks Ike to find his niece’s fiancé, whose small plane vanished over Chesapeake Bay months earlier, just after he left an alarming cell-phone message. As Ike puts together pieces of the puzzle with the help of a local waterman, his findings turn alarming, suggesting a terrorist scheme involving stolen Russian missiles that is far beyond the scope of even 9/11. A subplot in which Picketsville Episcopalian priest Blake Fisher fears teenagers are involved in Satanist activities serves to ground the potentially terrifying plot, as do two romances. The result is a high-concept technothriller with a folksy touch and lots of local color, a winning combination that ought to delight Ramsay fans and win new ones. --Michele Leber