By Sandra Parshall
Poisoned Pen Press, $24.95, 250 pages
Veterinarian Rachel Goddard is married to Tom Bridger, the sheriff of Mason County, Virginia. When a big development company moves into the area and tries to buy up great swaths of farm land in order to build a luxury resort for the rich, the community is immediately divided. Many in this poor county want to see the jobs the development will bring, but others are not willing to part with their land. When a farmer and his wife are found shot to death in their back yard, the area explodes with hostility on both sides of the issue. Even as the sheriff tries to solve the double murder, he is kept busy just trying to keep the peace. In the meantime, Rachel has sided with the locals who want to keep their land, complicating his job further. As she cares for their animals, people pass information on to her. The violence continues to escalate and every day and brings another suspect and another batch of questions to the case. Secrets from the past boil to the surface and lead to even more problems. While the premise of the huge corporation versus the little guy seems very familiar, the delightful characters and twisted plot in Poisoned Ground more than compensate to make this book captivating and enjoyable.
Reviewed by Fran Byram