Recent and seemingly rapid changes in American society may make some potential readers of this book wonder why it is a big deal that a police chief would try to hide being gay.
However, America was a much different world in 1997, when this series-debut novel is set. And society today is still not so open and accepting in many of the nation’s smaller towns, as recent news events have shown.
Police Chief Thomas Lynch loves his new job, but after leaving the New York Police Department following the death of his partner, he is having to adjust to being in a town where serious crime almost never happens. When a murder suddenly happens and Chief Lynch discovers he recognizes the victim, he knows he is now caught up in a very difficult situation for his career.
If he reveals how and where he saw her just hours before she was killed, he will have a lot to explain, and his sexual orientation immediately will be revealed. So he must try to solve the case mostly on his own, amid increasing pressure from the mayor and rising suspicions among some of the police officers he oversees.
Author Stephanie Gayle writes clear, concise, short sentences that flow smoothly and create detailed pictures in the reader’s mind. And, by setting the series opener in 1997, she has left herself plenty of room to develop her complex main character as American society, at least in some areas, gradually becomes more open and accepting in the background.
— Si Dunn