Putnam, Oct 4 2011, $27.95
Three weeks ago a bomb at the Michigan headquarters of the chain PyeMart left Executive Assistant Kelly Brown dead although CEO Willard Pye escaped unscathed. In Butternut Falls, Minnesota, townsfolk are angrily divided over the superstore company setting up shop there. Environmentalists know the poor record of the firm when it come to anything interfering with the bottom line profits while the small town’s storeowners know they will be driven out of business as has happened elsewhere.
A bomb ignites at the superstore’s construction site killing construction superintendent Gilbert Kingsley. ATF investigates both explosions that have left PyeMart’s leadership shaken and behind on the Minnesota project. Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Agent Virgil Flowers also looks into the homicide at Butternut Falls, but finds many townsfolk remain defiant and hostile towards the company’s “invasion”, but who would take the opposition to such deadly lengths remains hard to determine.
The fifth Virgil Flowers police procedural (See Rough Country and Bad Blood) is a great whodunit as the state cop makes inquires using modern technology and inductive reasoning to try to solve a case with too many suspects. The town already tense before the deadly explosion brings a profound look at development vs. preservation/environmentalism, but does it inside a well written investigation starring the amusingly self deprecating Minnesota cop.