"The light seemed to dim from the room. The walls were closing in. Whitehorse felt as though the temperature were dropping, and the hair stood up along the back of his neck."

The weather is wild, and so are the goings-on in Driftwood, Oregon. In the world of mystery and misadventure, minor hamlets are often plagued with major malevolence, and that's certainly the case in this intriguing novel that follows the troubles of a Native American policeman, Whitehorse, who's run afoul of Volkov, a Russian crime kingpin. It all begins when a commercial crabbing expedition winds up in the middle of a storm without the necessary fuel to battle horrendous waves. Three good men wind up dead, and the local cop is skeptical that it was an accidental tragedy. Before long, the dedicated policeman is up to his eyeballs in a missing person's case that just could be involved with serial killing or human trafficking. As the officer uncovers clues with potential roots leading back to the Russian, Whitehorse versus Volkov becomes Holmes versus Moriarty as mayhem and murder rise exponentially.

Cook is an author skilled at creating characters easy to root for or against. Chiara and Esperanza are Whitehorse's coworkers whose inherent concern for each member of their team helps them rise above mere supporting players. A psychotic brother named Dragon and an aging assassin, Alyosha, while profoundly evil, exude qualities that make them humanly vulnerable even as they are simultaneously loathsome. This book is one in a series of the author's Driftwood Mysteries. Parts of the story that proceed this one find their way into the current narrative. However, Cook enables the reader to catch up quickly. He knots all the loose ends of this tale yet still sets the framework for more likely confrontations to come between Whitehorse and Volkov. After enjoying this yarn, crime fans will likely look forward to what will probably follow.

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