Title: A Killer Past
Author: Maris Soule
Publisher: Robert Hale, London
Car trouble in the small town of Rivershore, Michigan shouldn’t be a source of concern. Seventy-four year-old Mary Harrington has to walk only two blocks to reach the safety of her home. But, too many houses have been abandoned with the economic downturn. Gangs and drug dealers have staked their claim.
Author Maris Soule doesn’t make the short walk easy for her captivating, wily protagonist. Mary uses skills she acquired in her youth to sidetrack her assailants. Rushed to the hospital with their tails between their legs, they are too ashamed to admit an old lady kicked their asses.
Suspicions arise, though, when Sergeant Jack Rossini responds to the call about gang violence. He’d like to nail the gang members to the wall yet, Mary won’t cooperate. Mary lives in relative peace and kubotan, nunchucks and stealth killers are best kept secrets.
In A Killer Past, author Soule doesn’t pull any punches. She acknowledges both Mary’s strengths and her weaknesses. Thus, you can never be quite sure if the cautious Mary will outwit her assailants no matter how much she works out or lifts weights.
When a co-worker from the chilling past arrives on the scene, Mary is doubly troubled. Her cover might be blown so Soule takes the story to another level of intrigue. Did the government have a role in Mary’s killer past? If so, Mary could meet her maker sooner than she’d like.
The pace is ideal for a cozy mystery but the suspense is on the run. You won’t know who or why until Mary and Sergeant Rossini end up on a long dark trail. Whom can you trust? For sure it’s Maris Soule, who writes a well-developed story. A Killer Past is her best to date.