Shifty’s Boys

Grove. (Mick Harden, Bk. 2). Jun. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780802159984. $27. M
While his sister Linda campaigns for sheriff, Army CID agent Mick Hardin mopes around her house as he recovers from an IED attack. He hasn’t yet signed his divorce papers; he’s taking too much Percocet, and he’s bored. When Shifty Kissick sends for him, he’s willing to meet with her. Her son, Barney, the local heroin dealer, was found murdered, and Shifty says the police don’t care to investigate the death of a dealer. She asks Mick to do so, knowing he doesn’t care that Barney dealt drugs. Mick’s from the hills of eastern Kentucky, and he understands the people and the importance of family. When Shifty loses another son, she admits she might have sent him to his death. One more death makes it personal for Mick. If he can stay out of his sister’s way, he might be able to help a grieving family before he has to return to duty.
VERDICT Offutt follows the beautifully written The Killing Hills with another dark mystery featuring Mick Hardin. Fans of the author’s poetic writing, with moments of sly humor, will welcome this second compelling story of family, community, and grief.
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