Touch Of Evil
Love Spell, Mar 2010, $7.99
On the rural Texas-Louisiana border Widow Preston County Sheriff Justine Wofford is completing her late husband's term, but has no support. Her deputies believe she is incapable of the job; the state is investigating corruption charges, and the Dogwood Sentinel editorial wants her hanging just like the three band victims of an apparent serial killer as suicide seems a stretch to Justine though statistics say serial suicides occur. To add insult to literally her on the job injury, her former lover Dr. Ross Bollinger treats her for a blow to her head. He has only recently returned to work after a virus caused heart damage that enhanced his already broken heart after his ardent affair with Justine ended a few months ago; not that the sheriff is handling their heated affair and break up any better.
A break in into the home of Ross' niece Laney is investigated by Justine. The sheriff loathes this inquiry because it brings her back into Ross’ circle and besides Laney is a prime suspect in the three suspicious deaths. However, subsequently another homicide of a deputy places Justine on the top of the suspect list.
Touch of Evil is an action-packed police procedural romantic suspense enhanced by a strong ER medical thriller subplot. The cast is solid especially the beleaguered sheriff and the emergency room doctor. However, it is the investigation that owns the novel as evidence points to serial suicides in what looks like a band member’s pact until the deputy dies. Although perhaps there is too much negative activity engulfing Justine that threatens to overwhelm the whodunit, Colleen Thompson provides an entertaining gripping thriller.