Deadly Payload (Rim Country Mysteries)
Setting – Arizona
4th in Series
Short on Time Books (July 17, 2018)
Paperback: 270 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07CLVZBZR
Dead birds raining from the sky. Poison in the water supply. Spies on the back porch.
A lifeless crow shatters the windshield as Rita Avery, her daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter arrive at Arizona’s Rim Vista Park. Rita dodges bird carcasses on the road home, where she finds her husband Cliff and son Travis gravely ill from a mysterious pathogen with no cure.
The CDC assembles a team to create a cure, but Rita doubts it will arrive in time to rescue Cliff, Travis, and dozens of her friends and neighbors.
In a race to save her family, her community, and potentially thousands more Americans, Rita launches her own investigation. She partners with a certified herbalist and a homeless war veteran dubbed Crazy Mary.
But the more clues Rita uncovers, the deeper she finds herself in the middle of a ruthless plot that could unleash a wide-ranging American disaster. And the culprits aim to stop her at any cost.
Before it’s too late for her loved ones, Rita must thwart the next attack on innocent civilians.
Murder, spine-tingling trips through Arizona’s rugged wilderness, and callous spies determined to spread havoc – this isn’t your average family outing!
“It started raining dead birds as I turned my Lexus into the driveway of Rim Vista Park. A crow thudded against my windshield, leaving a web-shaped crack and a red smear as it slid to the hood.”
Okay, Ms. Randau, with a first paragraph like that you totally got my attention.
I missed the first two adventures with Cliff and Rita but book #3, Deadly Choices made my Best Reads list last year and when they traveled to New Jersey in the novella, Deadly Reception, for their daughter’s wedding I went on that wild ride too.
This time Rita Avery faces that whatever is killing the birds could also kill her husband and her son and she feels it may be her fault. The entire community is at risk and people are dying. Her friend Taylor, a paramedic and herbalist tries her best to help the folks that will let her by adding herbal remedies to the treatment at the hospital. The CDC is working on a cure but it may be too late. Rita notices that a homeless war vet suffering from PTSD has picked up the virus too, but her symptoms seem more extreme but at a slower pace. The police force is down to a skeleton crew and the chief realizes he may need Rita help to solve this thing. But what she discovers is bigger than she ever imagined. This mysterious virus could expand and reach far beyond Arizona, it could be a threat to the entire U.S.
Rita Avery is a strong woman on a mission to first save her family and second find out who is behind this deadly pathogen and take them down. No matter how run down, tired or frightened, she doesn’t back down. She is brave beyond measure.
Readers are taken on quite a journey with Rita. There are many edge of the seat moments. In fact, in places, it felt like a Michael Palmer thriller. Murder, spies, corruption, then add in treks through the Arizona wilderness and you have a story that is impossible to put down.
Ms. Randau makes this crisis intimate by involving the Avery family giving a wife and mother spin that pulls your heart right in. I was invested in these characters from the previous stories so I truly cared about the outcome.
Randau is an excellent storyteller and knows how to set a scene. Whether it be the Avery home, the hospital or in the middle of the woods, she takes her readers there with clear detail.
The story was complex with a lot of moving parts, false leads, twists, and surprises. Exactly what I have come to now expect from this author. She sure didn’t disappoint. This was another spectacular read!
While this is a series, the author does give enough background for this story to stand on its own so don’t be afraid to start with this installment.
About the Author
Karen Randau is the author of the Rim Country Mystery series. Her fast-paced novels include Deadly Deceit, Deadly Inheritance, and Deadly Choices, each with intricate plots and lots of action and told from the point of view of protagonist Rita Avery.
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I had to squeeze this book in. Flashback Friday will return next week!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”