Lynn Hightower’s female characters take no prisoners.
Sonora Blair, tough-but-vulnerable Cincinnati police detective, knows the father of 15-year-old Joellen Chauncey is involved somehow in his daughter’s mysterious disappearance. But Sonora’s boss, partner, and colleagues think she’s crazy.
Dixon Chauncey is a devoted single father of three, and a mild, self-effacing milquetoast who’s much too “squishy” to be a suspect. Sonora doesn’t buy the official line–that Joellen got caught between two feuding scam artists involved in a thoroughbred swindle–not even when the girl’s body turns up, along with an empty, blood-spattered horse trailer.
Sonora won’t ignore what her gut tells her. And when Joellen’s diaries open up a whole new line of investigation tied into a missing children’s network, she renews her efforts to find the crack in Dixon’s façade. The plot is full of seductive McGuffins: the owner of a riding school who lands in the hospital minus a finger; a mysterious and sexy stranger hanging around the barn.
The narrative meanders a bit, taking in Sonora’s failings as a single mother to her own kids, her impulsive decision to buy a horse, and her overactive libido (which fastens itself on three different men in a little over 300 pages). But the book is crisply written, with resonant characters and a suspenseful narrative. It’s a special treat for horse fanciers. —Jane Adams from Amazon.com