Genre: Police Procedural/Mystery
“Many citizens in the small college town of Rawlings, Montana, are unsurprised to learn that Virginia Rinaldi, the world-famous sociologist, was murdered. A few are secretly pleased. Her political enemies knew her as an ideologue who used insults, threats, and blackmail to promote her unpopular social views. When Detectives Seagate and Miner begin their investigation, they discover that a local prostitute had recently moved into the professor's house, angering Rinaldi's college-age son. And when the community learns that the prostitute made a lesbian porn video with one of Rinaldi's students, tensions on campus erupt, leading to more bloodshed. Drawn into a horrifying world of sexual violence and exploitation, Seagate devises a plan to flush out the killer. The plan appears to be on track--until Seagate unwittingly jeopardizes the life of her partner, Ryan Miner.”
Mike Markel teaches writing at Boise State University. In addition to the Seagate and Miner Mystery series (this is the sixth) he has written several non-fiction books on writing and numerous articles for various publications.
For more, visit the author’s website.
I've read and reviewed four of the five previous books in this series, loving each of them. Going from memory, prior reviews have focused on the main characters, narrator and protagonist Karen Seagate, a recovering alcoholic with many imperfections, offset by a desire to do well, and her sidekick, Ryan Miner, her polar opposite, a devout Mormon family man. I've previously talked about how well the fictional city of Rawlings, Montana and the secondary characters reflect the geography and culture of the area it would be in, were it a real place. All of these things are still true. Maybe it’s time to talk about plot.
The short version is, the plots are good, with The Reveal as my favorite thus far. In this particular story we kick off with the murder of Virginia Rinaldi, a professor at the local college. Virginia's liberal outlook has challenged and sometimes riled up the locals, including some of her peers, but she is almost universally loved by her students.
As Seagate and Miner investigate, they uncover a plethora of suspects and additional crimes are committed that may or may not be related to the initial murder. Just when I thought I'd figured out who did what, something new would happen to shake things up, and I, along with Seagate and Miner, would be forced to reevaluate. In the end, they figured it out. I was kept guessing until the end, even second guessing whether they'd arrested the right person until they'd tied up all the loose ends. This one kept me up late, eager to find out whodunit.
Some adult language and mild adult content.
Although part of a series, The Reveal can be read as a standalone.
Original review posted January 7, 2016.
No significant issues
Rating: ***** Five Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words