Mr. Wallace has hit a home run with his latest novel. I was hooked from the first sentence, "Amanda Kimball drugged her three year old daughter before putting her to bed." You certainly can't stop reading at that point and this story never lets up.
It is hard to write a synopsis without giving away too much so this will be vague. A woman who is a member of a breakaway Mormon fundamentalist group still practicing polygamy in Blister Creek, Utah is murdered. Another part of the same group has settled in Canada. Not wanting publicity, for obvious reasons, one of the 12 ruling elders sends his son, Jacob, a med student, to investigate the group's claims that Mexican laborers had committed the crime. Jacob receives permission to take his sister, Eliza,age 17, with him so she can meet 2 of 3 prospective husbands.
This is where things become sinister and bigger than just one murder. You are thrown into a religious world filled with deceit, hunger for power and acceptance, and the will to do anything to achieve them. Add jealousy, arranged marriages, a shrinking gene pool, and you have a reading ride.
This is more than a mystery; more than an action-adventure story. This book is an in depth look at a small religious polygamous group and the problems they have and those they might cause. It is an excellent study in how far people will go to protect what they hold dear or to get what they want. Skillfully woven into the plot are questions of morality, honesty and the vast repercussions when these are lacking.
Fast paced, great characters, amazing knowledge of the subject and a book I highly recommend.