From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Anthony-winner Spencer-Fleming's solid sixth mystery to feature Clare Fergusson, an Episcopal priest, and Russ Van Alstyne, her police chief admirer, Clare and Russ are still trying to recover from the death of Russ's wife, Linda, in All Mortal Flesh
(2006). Clare and Russ do their best to steer clear of each other in the small town of Millers Kill, N.Y., but when a van carrying Mexican migrant workers en route to jobs at local farms is ambushed, the pair find themselves caught up in an investigation of drug smuggling and gang turf wars. After a number of Latino corpses turn up, Clare and Russ begin to question whether trouble followed the migrant workers or if it's the work of someone closer to home. While the plot takes some implausible turns, Clare and Russ's complex romantic dance is as compelling as ever. The cliffhanger ending will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next installment in this notable regional series. (June)
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*Starred Review* A suspected serial killer in the town of Millers Kill in Upstate New York takes a backseat to the simmering relationship between Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne and Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson in the sixth entry in this tantalizing series. Emotions are raw between the two in the aftermath of a lethal hostage situation and the death of Russ’ wife, Linda, in All Mortal Flesh (2006), so they seek diversion (including Clare’s joining the National Guard) and try to avoid each other. But the priest, feisty almost to the point of being foolhardy, is always in the thick of things, as when bodies of Latino men start turning up. Spencer-Fleming poses the issue of immigration, showing how the hiring of undocumented migrant workers impacts the Van Alstyne family; and she introduces an appealing new character, single mother Hadley Knox, granddaughter of the Episcopal church sexton, who joins the police force and captivates fellow officer Kevin Flynn. Action rachets up in a deadly shoot-out with drug-dealing Latino gangbangers, and just when resolution seems within reach, there’s a final twist. Keenly moving and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny, this is a tour de force in a series that seems to have jumped several levels in quality. --Michele Leber