Monday, November 19, 2018
Lies Come Easy by Steven F. Havill
As the story starts, Undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman welcomes late night calls. One son, a world famous musician, is in Germany. One son is in college. And her physician husband is out of town at a conference. So, she responds when Deputy Tom Pasquale reports finding a two-year-old, Derry Fisher, walking along a snowy road. The boy's father dumped him out of his pickup and took off. Poor Derry won't have the best Christmas. His angry mother confronts his father at the hospital, and, while both parents are cuffed, it's Darrell Fisher who is arrested. The judge tears into him at his bail hearing, and his brother bails Darrell out. Fisher doesn't have long to celebrate. His wife's at work when Pasquale finds Darrell dead in his truck, shot. It may appear to be suicide, but Sheriff Robert Torrez suspects otherwise. And, the sheriff's suspicions are enough to disrupt the holidays for everyone in the department.
When her sons say they're flying home for a couple days, with a few surprises in store, Reyes-Guzman is desperate for some family time. But, investigations don't wait. There's a missing Forest Service tech, and a body is found at the home of his girlfriend, in the same small community of Regal where Darrell Fisher lived. Just as when Fisher's body was found, neighbors gather. A few of them have stories and guesses, just enough to confuse the investigation.
Lies Come Easy is a story of contrasts. The step-by-step police investigation follows the trail of dysfunctional family and community problems, lies, and murder. On the other hand, Undersheriff Reyes-Guzman is eager to celebrate Christmas with her family, a family gathering steeped in tradition and surprises and gifts of love shared with a growing family and her mentor, retired Sheriff Bill Gastner. At eighty-four, Gastner still has a few surprises in store for his Undersheriff.
Havill's latest is the twenty-third Posadas County mystery. The complex story brings together well-developed beloved characters, a police procedural, a Christmas setting, and a murder investigation. There's a little of everything for Havill's fans.
Lies Come Easy by Steven F. Havill. Poisoned Pen Press, 2018. ISBN 9781464210310 (hardcover), 300p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.