The great thing about series mysteries is getting to know your character over time and seeing them change and grow, or in the case of Darkness, Sing Me a Song by David Housewright, getting reacquainted after an almost twenty-year absence. St. Paul detective Holland Taylor is back, this time working to prove an appalling, repugnant client is not guilty of murdering her son’s fiancée. Minnesota nice she ain’t.

The murdered Emily seems too good to be true, with co-workers and neighbors who adore her. The evidence against his client is damning, too, as there is a rock-solid eyewitness with no reason to lie. But, there is one reason to suspect the awful Eleanor Barrington might be innocent. Emily Denys did not exist before she came to St. Paul and she clearly was not who she claimed to be. Could her murder be rooted in the secrets of her past?

Following the faintest of trails to Wisconsin, Taylor goes to a community torn apart by the new oil sands industry, environmentalists, pro-industrialists, and militia members are shouting each other down in the deeply partisan Wisconsin riven by Scott Walker’s rightwing revolution.

I thoroughly enjoyed Darkness, Sing Me a Song and want to go back to the beginning of the series. It’s been so long, they will seem fresh again. I lived in St. Paul many years ago and recognize the authenticity with which he creates the city. The story is contemporary, involving issues that are salient today, but the mores and motives are timeless.

As a mystery, it is fair. The clues are there and Taylor does what he is hired to do. Taylor may occasionally cross the line, but not by his own standard of ethics. It’s been a long time, but this fourth Holland Taylor book is completely satisfying.

I received an e-galley of Darkness, Sing Me a Song from the publisher through NetGalley. It will be released on January 2nd, 2018.

 

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