MYSTERY

See That My Grave Is Kept Clean

Arcade: Skyhorse. (Tommy Smith High Country Noir, Bk. 3). Sept. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9781948924375. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781948924399. THRILLER
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The third in a series, a follow-up to Paul’s Cheatgrass, finds Iraq War veteran Tommy Smith, married and with a newborn, busy building his life as a guide in western Nevada’s Sierra Mountain range. After reports of a missing girl reach his remote station, he joins the search and discovers something quite different—the body of a local banker, accused of embezzling a million dollars, missing for over a year. Tommy eventually crosses paths with the FBI, a ranch owner desperate to keep his property afloat, and a nasty ex-California Highway Patrolman turned biker and chop-shop owner. Tommy tries to keep his investigative, home, and business lives separate, but once things get personal, justice has to be served with the military skills he’d rather leave behind.
VERDICT Readers will be transported by Paul’s easygoing prose as he lingers almost philosophically on the sparse but majestic landscape and the people who choose to make their living there. Sharing qualities with authors like Paul Doiron and C.J. Box, Paul delivers a Western-themed thriller that can easily be read as a stand-alone featuring characters as quiet and as deep as the mountains themselves.

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