The Bramble and the Rose

Norton. (Henry Farrell, Bk. 3). Mar. 2020. 208p. ISBN 9780393249668. $25.95. M
Henry Farrell is the entire one-man police department in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Wild Thyme Township, the one who has to hike into the woods when it’s reported that a headless body has been chewed on by a bear. Learning the victim was a retired police officer and investigator, Henry knows this isn’t an accidental death or bear attack. But before he has time to investigate he becomes a suspect in the murder of a woman with whom he had an affair. His young nephew Ryan has gone missing, and Henry is more worried about him out in the woods than he is about his own safety. Instead, he and Ryan are chased and trapped by dangerous men who know those woods as well as Henry does. The intensifying mystery delivers an atmospheric tale featuring a man who would rather be hunting and fishing than investigating his neighbors. This time, he and his nephew are the prey.
VERDICT Fans of C.J. Box’s wilderness mysteries featuring Joe Puckett will appreciate this bleak book, the third in the series from the Edgar Award–winning author of Dry Bones in the Valley. [See Prepub Alert, 8/19/19.]

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