Southeast Missouri State University Press
Available at All on the Same Page Bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble
“When Judge Rosswell Carew makes the gruesome discovery of two corpses on a river bank in the Missouri Ozarks, he's plunged into a storm of deadly secrets that threaten both him and his fiancée, Tina Parkmore. Unsatisfied with the way the authorities are conducting the investigation, Rosswell, who's always nurtured a secret desire to be a detective, teams up with an ex-con, Ollie Groton, to solve the case before the killer can murder again.”
Ah, yes. The killer. Hopkins starts off the book with a bang, so to speak, not only with the discovery of the aforementioned bodies, but also with an introduction to the killer. No, we don’t know who it is, but Hopkins provides a chilling and brief psychological description, skillfully woven into the narrative.
He sets the physical scene of the homicide, the killer implies some unclear reasoning behind the action – unclear only because the killer himself seems to be unfocused and vague about that reasoning. Or herself. Nothing is given away, nothing can be taken for granted throughout this excellent novel.
Hopkins brings all his characters to life as the mystery deepens. The clues lead the reader from one possibility to the next, from one crime scene to yet another, culminating in a convoluted tale of small-town Missouri relationships.