Home Fires

Severn House. (Hank Worth Mystery, Bk. 6). Apr. 2024. 256p. ISBN 9781448310807. $29.99. M
Sheriff Hank Worth is at the funeral for the local medical examiner when he learns that the largest employer in Branson County, MO, a fireworks warehouse, has gone up in flames. Law enforcement teams from all over show up, but Worth has to deal with the grieving families, the media, and rumors of a bomb or terrorism. The department handles it without Sheila Turley, Worth’s second-in-command, who’s on medical leave following a brutal attack. Frustrated to be sidelined, Turley coerces off-duty deputies into assisting her so she can handle computer investigations and phone calls. Then a resident in the pathology department of the University of Missouri informs Worth that the recently deceased medical examiner was sloppy in his investigations. One of those cases involved Worth’s beloved mother-in-law, who didn’t die of a heart attack but was in fact poisoned. As Worth investigates that case, Turley and a young deputy concentrate on the fire at the warehouse, break-ins at the homes of the victims, and a murder.
VERDICT The sequel to Dangerous Consequences is an outstanding police procedural that plunges readers into a community’s nightmare. Readers of Steven F. Havill and Bill Crider will appreciate the novel’s focus on small-town life and a local police force.
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