Quite Possibly More Demented And Disturbing Than The First. This is one of those police procedurals that directly deals with the fallout from the first book – so make sure you read that one first. But then it goes even darker, even more twisted, even more tense. And just when you think this thing couldn’t *possibly* get any more twisted, dark, or tense… it very clearly is *still building* to some final showdown, likely in the finale of the series – whenever that might be. Overall truly a great work that is bound to piss off at least some, particularly in polygamous Mormon circles, but shows a great deal of care in showing that the evils perpetrated here are not “mainstream” Mormonism. Very much recommended.
Creepy Series Starter. This one has a more rare premise than any detective story I’ve ever encountered: Set in Utah, the lead detective here was raised in the polygamous – and heretical, according to current LDS doctrine as I understand it – branch of the Church of Latter Day Saints, aka Mormons. Her squad is sent in to deal with particularly sensitive investigations primarily involving this group, and in this particular case actively involving her former family. Which is interesting enough, but then you get into the truly creepier/ seedier side of humanity generally and this particular sect specifically, and it gets truly… icky, let’s go with. There is a LOT of crazy to unpack here, and a lot of childhood trauma for our lead detective to try to handle in the process. Overall the mystery itself is solid, but this is clearly yet another in the police procedural genre where you’re coming into this for the team/ personal dynamics as much as for any given mystery, and Roberts does a great job of setting that up and setting it in motion. The *one* criticism is that our lead Detective is constantly referred to as “Detective Sergeant”, which is a British position and not an American one, at least per my own knowledge of American policing. (Which in some areas is quite extensive, but admittedly exact ranks within departments and peculiarities among States in those ranks is not one of them. It is *possible* that this rank exists in Utah and I am simply unaware of it, and it is a minor detail anyway, though one that can throw the reader out of the book when encountered.) Overall an interesting tale well told, and I’ll be looking forward to the next book in this series. Very much recommended.