From Publishers Weekly
Adjusting to civilian life after a tour in Iraq proves difficult for Rev. Clare Fergusson in Spencer-Fleming's resonant and timely seventh mystery featuring Clare and her not-so-secret lover, police chief Russ Van Alstyne (after 2008's I Shall Not Want). On returning to Millers Kill, N.Y., Clare jumps right back into her duties as priest of St. Alban's Episcopalian Church. But her 18 months flying helicopters in Iraq aren't entirely in the past: she's drinking more and relying on a mix of leftover pills from her Army medical kit. Along with several other returning service members, Clare joins a community support group for veterans. When a member of the group, Tally McNab, apparently shoots herself in the mouth and falls dead into her swimming pool, Clare spearheads an investigation, hounding Russ to consider homicide. Clare and Russ's relationship deepens, while the focus on the struggles of veterans supplies another strong emotional thread. Author tour; 75,000 first printing. (Apr.)
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*Starred Review* Reunited after 18 months, Episcopalian priest Clare Fergusson and police chief Russ Van Alstyne seek a future together. But Clare�s extended tour as a National Guard helicopter pilot in Iraq has left her needing booze and pills to get through the night, a dependence she�s unable to admit even in her counseling group of Iraq veterans that includes a teenage double amputee, a cop with anger issues, a doctor with short-term memory loss, and a bookkeeper, Tally McNabb, who�s soon found shot to death. Unable to accept Tally�s death as a suicide even after she�s found to have engineered a million-dollar theft from the army, Clare prods the group to a much bigger discovery. As in her previous novel, I Shall Not Want (2008), Spencer-Fleming explores a serious societal issue�the reentry problems of soldiers home from combat�that extends even to small-town Millers Kill, New York, while concocting an absolutely irresistible combination of crime fiction and romance. Despite some potentially confusing play with chronology early on, this is a surefire winner, taking the linchpin Fergusson�Van Alstyne relationship to a new level, probing the personal lives of other members of the town�s police department, and personalizing the toll taken by war. Spencer-Fleming�s fans who have been waiting anxiously for her latest won�t be disappointed; this series, as intelligent as it is enthralling, just keeps getting better. --Michele Leber