Once upon a time, the evil of drugs lived only in the alleys of big cities. Now, as depicted in prolific author Mary Logue’s Maiden Rock, its malevolence has permeated even the most innocent of small towns. No place is safe.
Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins has seen every species of evil that breeds in those metropolitan dead ends, and she’s chosen to come to roost in the much quieter countryside of Pepin County, Wisconsin. Still, when her fifteen-year-old daughter and two friends go missing in the early morning hours of a Halloween night, Claire’s seasoned vision is tainted by abject fear. When one friend turns up dead, Claire must determine if it was suicide or murder and, if murder, it is her task to disengage herself as a mother and hunt down the guilty party.
The heart of the story is the prism of reactions, the multitude of ripples in the pond when a young life is snatched away by the brutality of drugs. Becoming characters in their own right are a parent’s need for revenge, the best friend’s need for an explanation to relieve her own guilt, and the law enforcer’s need to find swift and righteous justice. It is the vortex of people and the drastic changes swirling around this one event, which gives this cleanly written story its complexity.
Logue, an award-winning poet and mystery author, has done her research, deftly depicting the insidious drug process and as well as some of its history. Maiden Rock is a simple story using clear, direct, concise language to tell it, and the effect flourishes elegantly: “Emily felt like all she had was her sorrow and it was endless. She was swimming in it and there was no shore in sight. She might never touch solid ground again.”
This swiftly moving story travels full circle, and its twisting kaleidoscope journey is one worthy of the trip.
Donna Russo Morin
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