Proving your innocence

2008-01-16 00:00

Adam Chase spends five anonymous years in the big city of Manhattan trying to outrun the demons that haunt him, before he is drawn back to the country and the family farm that plays host to the drama that is past and that which is just beginning.

Chase had been wrongfully accused of the murder of a popular young man, and although the courts had eventually found no compelling evidence against him, the Rowan County townsfolk have not forgotten his step-mother’s chilling testimony against him.

They are also embittered against the Chase family as Adam’s father has refused to sell his vast farm to developers of a nuclear power plant who want to buy up land in the area. The residents of Rowan County see the development as being their salvation and as eager as they are for the accompanying financial relief, Adam’s father is steadfastly determined to keep his land. So Chase returns to a hostile atmosphere, where his fight to prove his innocence is overtaken by current events which draw him further into mysteries and intrigues spun around his family ties and the people he loves. More murders follow on Red Water farm and Chase is once again looked at as the usual suspect by the police, who still seem keen to pin the first murder on him.

His ally comes in the form of Robin Alexander, his romantic interest, who also happens to be a cop.

While the themes of family betrayal, embittered dark secrets and the ties of friendship can make for a compelling read, I thought that Hart merely skimmed the surface in these matters. He gave too much away and the end was more or less predictable. I read on to verify that my intuition on ‘whodunit and with whom’ was correct and there were little surprises.

A quick, and entertaining, but ultimately forgettable, read.

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