Loni Wagner returns home to her small Arizona home town from L.A after her grandmother has a stroke. Loni is still grieving after the death of her partner and love of her life Maria, who was shot in the line of duty. If Loni expected a quiet life after the hustle and bustle of being a cop in L.A, she was very much mistaken in her thoughts.
Highway Patroller, Loni sees plenty of action, including a suspicious plane crash, car accidents galore, rapes, murders, drug running and human trafficking from across the Mexican borders are just for starters.
Her homophobic racist Chief hates her, he gives her every horrible and menial job he can find. He is a sexist redneck pig and Loni despises him.
Loni has her own family problems too. Her Native American grandparents are suffering great losses at the hands of cattle rustlers. Losses they can ill afford. Will Loni be able to catch them?
While Loni is trying to move on from Maria’s death, she finds herself drawn to two women. But can Loni let the past go and move on?
Meanwhile there is a mystery to solve too. Will Loni be allowed to work on it? The Chief is against Loni, so are others. Will Loni win through?
This is an extremely well written book that is much more than ‘just another mystery’. Yes, there is a mystery Loni has to solve, with or with out the help of her fellow police officers. Some of whom she’s not sure she can trust. But this book also goes into the history of Loni’s ancestors, giving us a great look backwards into the past and bygone days in Arizona.
The story is set in present time Arizona with glimpses back into the past using writings given to Loni from her grandparents time. Loni is part Native American and is not always treated with respect by some of the white folks around her. The story tells us of how Loni copes with the racist remarks thrown her way. There is a glimpse into Loni’s school days also. It is always nice when I can get to know how the character got to where they are today.
I especially like the way Sue Hardesty has interwoven the stories of Loni’s grandparents in-between the present day goings on.
The characters are a pleasure to get to know, well, some of them are. Even the baddies are written so you dislike them immediately. They are written exactly as they should be.
The Arizona settings are magnificent. The heat radiated off the page. Even though it’s winter I began to feel hot.
So, if you are looking for a book that is as much history and regular police work as it is mystery, give this one a try. I don’t think it will disappoint you.