Carolyn J. Rose
Five Star, Jul 21 2010, $25.95
In the Catskill Mountains is isolated Hemlock Lake. The locals keep developers out, but recently a long time resident took the money. Now a developer and the natives are at war with vandalism occurring.
Sheriff North sends Police Sergeant Dan Stone to Hemlock Lake to investigate the crimes as he is from the area and has a better chance of obtaining information from the closed-mouth natives. He has doubts as he has been away since the tragedy of his wife Susanna drowning, his brother Nat committing suicide and his father mentally collapsing from the tragedies. As the vandal turns to arson and murder, Stone is pulled between the past and the future as he begins to believe someone he has known for years is behind the deadly felonies.
Aptly titled Hemlock Lake is a strong regional police procedural. Because he was away, Stone is considered a traitorous outsider by the locals. He does not disagree as he never wanted to come home but his wife persuaded him that his family needed them; after she died he never wanted to come home, but his boss persuaded him that the department needed him. Duty bound but filled with guilt, Dan increasingly believes he will bring in a friend once he solves the case. Though his flashbacks become intrusive and repetitive with too much detail, Carolyn J. Rose provides an entertaining character driven thriller.