It’s high summer and the drought stricken state of Montana is in the grip of a heat wave. Wilmington Creek, a sleepy ranching community in the northern Flathead Valley, has been especially hard hit. A series of wildfires has pushed the area’s resources to the limit. Darby Lake’s water level has dropped to a record low and a group of childhood friends are increasingly anxious about what may be uncovered if the rains don’t return to the valley soon.
When John Dalton, a young war veteran who has served in some of the most dangerous places in the world, is shot dead in an alleyway outside a local bar, Detective Macy Greeley is called in to lead the investigation. She is reluctant to take on the high profile case. Since the birth of her child, she's been struggling to balance work, motherhood and an increasingly fraught relationship with her boss at the State Police Department, Ray Davidson. Her nerves are shot and she has to fight hard to stay focused. It doesn't help that the heat is oppressive, an arsonist is setting wildfires, and the victim's friends and family are keeping secrets.
When an undercover officer, who's been investigating a member of a private militia turns up dead in the aftermath of a wildfire, the scope of the case widens further. With the help of the local sheriff, Macy works a complex case that will eventually put both her life and career in jeopardy.
Publication date: May 2015
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In this stirring follow-up to 2014’s Bone Dust White, -Salvalaggio not only crafts a suspenseful mystery but also underscores the dire need in this country to recognize and treat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. —The Library Journal
"Riveting...[Salvalaggio] illuminates her dark story with deeply realized characters— Grace and Macy are particularly memorable—as well as richly descriptive prose...A stunning debut, Bone Dust White marks the beginning of what promises to be Salvalaggio’s stellar career."—Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Karin Salvalaggio is an exciting new voice in crime fiction...[and] she continues to receive critical praise for her heroine, Detective Macy Greeley."—Huffington Post
"Salvalaggio's characters and the landscape of their lives are astutely drawn." –Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
In Salvalaggio’s absorbing second mystery Det. Macy Greeley ... investigates the shooting murder of 26-year-old John Dalton, a highly decorated veteran of the Afghanistan war ... raising the tension all the way to the cliffhanger ending. The rugged Montana terrain matches the ruggedness of its inhabitants.--Publishers Weekly
The dense web of characters contrasts with the spare style in this sequel to Bone Dust White (2014). Salvalaggio devotes as much attention to personalities as to the events that pull people together and drive them apart.--Kirkus