War hero John Puller is known to be the top investigator in the US Army’s CID. So when a family with military connections is brutally murdered in a remote area of West Virginia, Puller is called to investigate, and soon suspects the case has wider implications. As the body count rises he teams up with local homicide detective Samantha Cole. As the web of deceit is revealed, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s much more to this case than they had first thought. It is an investigation where nothing is as it seems, and nothing can be taken at face value.
It was high intensity and constant drama, but I was very disappointed in how easily the author killed off the romantic edge to the story without a drawn out sympathy. To me that would have been a happy ending, but I guess the author and I have different priorities.
John Puller, the lead and really only one that seems to care about the half dozen murders that happened in a small town seems to be portrayed more as a machine than a person. He is assigned with the small town's lead sheriff as they dodge being murdered themselves for digging around in a much bigger plot than just a few murders. There were some entertaining, comic relief characters and multiple that were introduced that had you suspiciously keeping tabs on their interactions. The military background really showed through for Puller as he had his orders and he worked independently in his and his countries best interest. It showed the kind of man he was when his ailing dad started to not make sense and he got up and walked away as the old man was yelling for him to come back. That interaction hardened me to have much sympathy for Puller from then on throughout the story. It held creative killings and scenes that made you think. I even learned a bit about coal :) It was a mediocre story, neither excellent or bad and I think a big part of that was the military persona of the main character. He was hardened and unrelatable so he stayed at a distance to me. I gave this three out of five stars. I might recommend this to men or military personnel because it didn't have to depth I needed to bond with the characters, but if someone can relate to the past of this character that might be all the bonding that's needed to get involved with this character and his story.