Hid from Our Eyes
by Spencer-Fleming, Julia

Police chief Russ van Alstyne races to solve a baffling murder that eerily resembles two unsolved killings from decades earlier for which he was the prime suspect. By the award-winning author of One Was a Soldier.

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING is the New York Times bestselling author of One Was A Soldier, and an Agatha, Anthony, Dilys, Barry, Macavity, and Gumshoe Award winner. She studied acting and history at Ithaca College and received her J.D. at the University of Maine School of Law. Her books have been shortlisted for the Edgar, Nero Wolfe, and Romantic Times RC awards. Julia lives in a 190-year-old farmhouse in southern Maine.

Cold-case mysteries resurface when a young woman's body is dumped in Millers Kill, New York. Like two women found in 1952 and 1972, the victim's body bears no evidence of her cause of death. Now MKPD chief Russ van Alstyne must solve all three cases or lend ammunition to the upcoming referendum to dissolve the police department in favor of a budget-friendly state-police contract. The outlook dims further when the department is blindsided by a misconduct lawsuit and rumors circulate about Russ' involvement in the 1972 cold case. While Russ' detectives chase uncertain leads at the annual fair and dig into connections to a 1970s commune, his wife, Clare Fergusson, Millers Kill's Episcopal priest, takes on a new intern, who offers her powerful family's backing for the Save the Police campaign and a disturbing new angle on the murders. Series fans have had a long wait to dive back into Spencer-Fleming's cleverly constructed mysteries, and this ninth entry (following Through the Evil Days, 2013), which delivers a haunting exposure of the town's dark side, won't disappoint. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

The ninth case for Millers Kill Police Chief Russell Van Alstyne and his wife, Rev. Clare Fergusson, is actually three cases that span more than 60 years. A young woman in a party dress is found dead out in the middle of McEachron Hill Road. Though there's not a mark on her, everyone on the Millers Kill force instantly suspects murder because that's the same spot where two similarly dressed women were found dead in 1952 and 1972. Neither earlier case was ever solved. In fact, the closest thing to a suspect in the 1972 case was Russ Van Alstyne, having some serious readjustment issues after his tour in Vietnam. Being on the other side of the investigation doesn't feel any more comfortable for Russ, who's already struggling to help Clare cope with Ethan, their infant son; manage the absence of Officer Kevin Flynn, whose new job with the Syracuse Police Department involves some undercover work uncomfortably close to his former hometown; and face down the continuing threat to shut down his department and leave the New York State Police responsible for Millers Kill's impressive slate of homicides (Through the Evil Days, 2013, etc.). For her part, Clare is pressed to welcome a new intern, Joni Langevoort, a seminary student from Manhattan who turns out to be transgender. Though Joni's mother is warmly supportive of her daughter's transition, just the proximity of the family's wealth and power will ring alarm bells for fans of the series who join Russ and his fragile department in wondering whether they're dealing with copycat crimes or no crimes at all—or whether the same person really could have murdered all three of those young women between 1952 and the present. The narrative hopscotches nimbly but not very revealingly among the three time periods right through the unsatisfying, early-arriving solution, which doesn't slow down the continuing complications in all three time frames that reveal where the author's heart really lies. As ambitious as Spencer-Fleming's best as long as you don't expect a tidy whodunit. Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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