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Posted November 27, 2003
Though the town is her deceased husband¿s home and he died eight years ago, Jessica McGuire raises her fourteen year old son Jonathan in Lawrenceville, California, at the foothills of the Sierra. Jessica serves as the town¿s resident deputy reporting to the Lupine County sheriff. Most of her work involves speeding and lesser offenses so that her superior never takes anything she does seriously even if she solved a murder last year. While jogging Jessica notices that someone desecrated the grave of an infant taking the remains with them. Later widower Pastor David Tanner informs her that an individual stole a valueless small cross from the church. Finally, Letty Burns tells Jessica that one of her beloved kids (goat that is) was abducted. Although her boss scoffs at her, Jessica and David believe firmly that a Satanist cult is doing the petty crimes. When a teen commits suicide and her son acts strange beyond raging hormones, Jessica wonders if the devil worshippers are hooked by what David describes as seemingly nice friendly people by day. <P>This is an exhilarating police procedural that feels somewhat like an amateur sleuth cozy because the heroine, though she follows the book, lacks experience in investigations and her partner is a pastor. The trouble in Lawrenceville is cleverly constructed at a leisurely pace so that like Sheriff Boone, the audience thinks it is teen pranks. The fully developed characters bring to life Lupine County with the maxim that even small isolated rural areas have some of the problems that confront big cities. Sub-genre readers will find this is a fine choice as Marilyn Meredith furbishes a solid investigative tale. <P>Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.