Miranda DeCosta has been murdered. Death, as Charlie Caldwell has so cruelly learned, cheats one out of any opportunity to set life on the correct path. Charlie has come to Divina, the tiny central California town where he grew up, bent on confronting … see full wiki
I got this book as a reviewer copy from the author but the opinion is strictly based on what I observed. It has a lot of elements of First Blood as Charlie Caldwell is a Viet Nam vet returning to a small California town(Davina). He is immediately hounded by the police who want him to leave Davina immediately and seem to follow him constantly. Charlie was once a pretty good high school player who suddenly left Davina at graduation. He wanted to tie up some loose ends he left in Davina involving his ex-girlfriend Miranda.
Charle learns that Miranda was recently murdered and that her killer is awaiting trial. With nothing more to do he decides he can leave town but runs into a woman named Audrey who he vaguely knew in High School. An attraction to her makes him want to stay. As Charley stays longer he finds that maybe there is more to Miranda's murder than he thought and the more he asks questions, the more he is harassed by the local police.
What makes the book work is that the reader wants to learn what caused Charlie to leave so abruptly and what really happened to him in Viet Nam. As little clues emerge the reader realizes that Charlie is a lot more intriguing than Rambo though he obviously had similar training. What really happens to Miranda is also something that holds the reader but as the book sometimes moves a little slow, sometimes I started to feel that I don't really care. As the book starts to really pick up during the last third, it became hard to put it down at that point.
The relationship between Charlie and Audrey sometimes gets a little bit too sexually graphic and is in parts, not that interesting. Overall the positives of the book way outweigh the misgivings and I rate it a solid four stars.