MYSTERY

Exiles

Flatiron (Aaron Falk, Bk. 3). Jan. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781250235350. $27.99. M
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In Harper’s third Aaron Falk series installment (after The Dry and Force of Nature), the detective is with Greg Raco’s family in the wine country of South Australia, having been invited to attend the christening of Raco’s son, who is also Falk’s godson. But the gathering has a dark cloud over it, as one member of the family, Kim Gillespie, disappeared the previous summer from the local food and wine festival, leaving her infant daughter alone in her stroller. It is widely believed that Kim took her own life by jumping into the local reservoir; her body was never found, though one of her shoes was. Kim’s teenage daughter, Zoe, has never believed that version of events, and Zoe and her friend Joel, who lost his father several years earlier in an unsolved hit-and-run accident, hope to find more information by making an appeal at this year’s festival. Falk gets pulled into the investigation, making a connection with the earlier case as well. There is no shortage of suspects, motives or inexplicable evidence, giving Falk plenty of work to do, and the eventual answers to the deaths are both very believable and deeply sad.
VERDICT A strong entry in a series best read in order.
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