Friday, June 2, 2017

No Way Home (A Zoe Chambers Mystery Book 5)

Author:  Annette Dashofy
Genre:  Mystery, Suspense

Hardcover; Paperback; Audio CD; Ebook
ISBN #:  9781635111804; 9781635111774; 9781541457287
Henery Press Publishing
256 Pages
$26.87; $15.93; $29.99; $4.99 Amazon
March 14, 2017


A relaxing trail ride turns tragic when Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers discovers the body of a popular county commissioner in her Pennsylvania woods.  Inconsistencies surround the horrible accident, but before she can investigate further, she's pried away by a plea for help from her best friend whose son has been deemed a person of interest in a homicide over a thousand miles away.  When he vanishes without a trace, his mother begs Zoe to help clear him and bring him safely home.  The task takes Zoe out of her comfort zone in a frantic trip to the desolate canyons and bluffs of New Mexico where she joins forces with the missing boy's sister and mysterious young Navajo.

Back at home, Vance Township's Chief of Police Pete Adams must deal not only with the commissioner's homicide, but with an influx of meth and a subsequent rash of drug overdoses in his rural community.  Bodies keep turning up while suspects keep disappearing.  However little else matters when he learns that half a continent away, a brutal killer has Zoe in his sights.


Zoe Chambers is a Paramedic and Deputy Coroner in Vance Township, Pennsylvania; and she also runs a boarding stable.  So when one of her boarders' horses returns riderless, Zoe sets out to find the man she hopes is merely injured.  But instead she finds the body of County Commissioner Dale Springfield, and at first glance it appears his horse was spooked and he fell and hit his head.  Yet when Zoe does a preliminary examination, she thinks the body is colder than it should be for a recent accident, and wonders about the time of death.

Yet Dale's death might not be an accident after all - the town is divided on a company that wants to do local fracking - and Dale was definitely on the 'no' side.  So who will benefit the most if and when the deal goes through, and did anyone hate him enough to want him out of the way permanently?  With a host of suspects but no solid clues, Pete has his work cut out for him on this one.

There is also another problem going on in their town - young people are overdosing on heroin and meth, but Sheriff Pete Adams isn't sure which one is the culprit, or where the teens are getting their drugs.  Even with the help of Detective Wayne Baronick - a sometimes-thorn in Pete's side - every lead they have runs down to a dead end.

But even with these crimes going on, Zoe's put front and center in another investigation.  It seems her best friend Rose's son Logan has disappeared out in New Mexico - right after his girlfriend's body was found in the desert; he's not answering his cell phone, and it turns out that law enforcement aren't the only ones looking for him.  Roped into traveling to the Southwest with Rose's family to help search for Logan, Zoe, although thousands of miles away, might just find that distance doesn't keep danger from finding you...

No Way Home is the fifth book in the Zoe Chambers mystery and in my opinion, so far it's the best of the group (which is a pretty feat, considering the other four were quite good themselves).  We start out with several deaths in Pennsylvania that may be linked somehow, and then follow Zoe in New Mexico on her quest not only to find Logan, but get answers as to who murdered his girlfriend.  Rose is frantic with worry and convinced that the boy she loves like a son is innocent, it's up to Zoe - with the help of Logan's sister Allison - to find out the truth of the matter.

The author switches deftly from the scenarios going on in both states without skipping a beat.  You are at first in rural Pennsylvania, with its rolling hills, brisk snowy weather, and close-knit community of people, then are transported seamlessly to New Mexico, with its jagged mountains, bright sunrises, and desert terrain; and people as mysterious as the mountains themselves - a new experience for Zoe.

Still, with each mystery going on separately yet at the same time, we are drawn deeply into the multifarious story line, anxiously awaiting the outcome of both. Without giving too much away, let it be known that while there are plenty of twists and turns along the way, Ms. Dashofy spins a tightly-knit tale that delights the mind with vivid descriptions of regions and people, bringing it to life.

When at last we reach the end of the story it comes together beautifully; and as we learn the truth it is altogether believable and well-composed; with a gamut of emotions that elicits the same from the readers of the story.  Highly recommended and I look forward to the next in the series.

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