Bitter Rain by Shannon Baker

(4 / 5)

Grand County Sheriff Kate Fox is torn from her sleep one spring night in Nebraska by desperate pleas for help from a frantic girl. But as the phone call abruptly ends, Kate doesn’t know who the girl is, exactly where she is, or what danger she’s in. Just as Kate starts to wonder how she’ll find answers to any of those questions, she learns the younger sister of Deputy Sheriff and local Lakota Kyle Red Owl is missing. As Kate delves deeper into Shelly Red Owl’s disappearance, the more it seems one of her fellow sheriffs could be responsible. And that one missing Native American girl might be just the tip of the iceberg.

Bitter Rain is the third installment in the Kate Fox Mystery series by Shannon Baker. It continues the trials and tribulations of Kate Fox, Grand County’s latest sheriff, her ex-husband (and former sheriff) and his new wife, and Kate’s family, who loves her dearly but is the source of as much of her strife as her joy. One of Baker’s strengths as a writer is creating an almost visceral sense of place. The Nebraska she paints is one where everybody knows everybody else’s business and deep-set prejudices sometimes die hard. But it is also an area of stunning natural beauty and where hope still lives, often coming from unexpected places. Her writing can occasionally be uneven and choppy. But on the whole, Baker’s voice pulls you in and her stories are memorable in a way that you can’t teach – you either have that special something or you don’t. Shannon Baker definitely does. Bitter Rain seeps into your bones and stays with you, its characters haunting your thoughts long after the rain stops and the sun breaks through the clouds.