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From the Publisher*STAR*Hills, Kathleen. Witch Cradle. Mar. 2006. 344p. Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (1-59058-254-3).
"Hills' latest John McIntire adventure is dark, dense, and delicious — and musn't be rushed. Although she generates enough suspense to keep readers turning pages, it would be a mistake to turn them too quickly and miss even one word of her taut yet lyrical prose. Set in 1951, amidst the paranoia of McCarthyism, Hill's story revolves around a community of mostly Finnish Americans in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. McIntire, the steadfast constable of tiny St. Adele, becomes embroiled in a murder investigation when two skeletons are found in the cistern of Falk farm — one is Rose Falk, but the other is not Rose's husband, Teddy. Like many other Finns in 1934, the Falks had been recruited by communists and were planning to immigrate to Soviet Karelia: Rose never made it, but what happened to Teddy? Did he find Rose with a lover and kill them both? Is he still alive? As he grapples with the cold-case investigation, McIntire is investigated himself — by overzealous FBI agent Melvin Fratelli, the embodiment of the xenophobia running rampant in the early 1950s. Like a determined ice fisherman, McIntire slowly chips away the layers of lies and bitterness, creating possibly fatal cracks in his friendships and marriage." — Jenny McLarin Booklist starred review