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Sharfeddin revisits many of the themes from Blackbelly and Mineral Spirits-rural life, crime and punishment, the supernatural-while striking some new chords in this bleak look at Rocket, Wash., and its unlucky inhabitants. Tom Jemmet is the widower owner of the rundown Jemmet Motel, and his relationship with his autistic 12-year-old daughter, Sienna, takes center stage in a plot packed with secrets-including the death of Tom's wife several years ago. As the summer progresses, this town, usually teeming with tourists, suffers a slow death thanks to a lack of wind, which normally brings surfers to the nearby Columbia River. After news of a strange accident befalling a motel guest hits the news (courtesy of local reporter Hap Mitsui), Rocket is flooded with undesirable visitors who stir up town secrets and prejudices. The interwoven perspectives of Tom, Hap and Lauren Kent, town veterinarian and Tom's love interest, lend the gloomy narrative speed and immediacy in Sharfeddin's best work yet. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.