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Deadly Descent    by Charlotte Hinger order for
Deadly Descent
by Charlotte Hinger
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Lottie Albright has made the determination that people are the same the world over. Lottie is an historian in Kansas farm country. When locals are invited to submit their family history to the files of the historical society, she finds that some of them have changed their antecedents' lives to fit what they believe to be more palatable than the truth. Others seem to want to use the process as a way to bring a closely held belief forward.

Lottie has an identical twin sister who is a psychologist. She believes Lottie is heading for trouble. Being an outsider, the townspeople think Lottie is just out to dig up dirt and spread it around. When Lottie's life is threatened, she convinces the sheriff to deputize her so she can gain access to people's homes and their family histories.

She focuses on a cold case a man who was in danger of losing his farm came home to find his wife and son murdered and a fetus cut from his wife's body. The baby was never found. Zelda, a member of an old family, is murdered. Her twin demands her sister's belongings. The plot spirals around the man accused of murdering his wife so many years ago and the question of who on earth could have killed Zelda and why.

It's a twisted plot that really works. The characters are very engaging and true to life, including the ones without one good word to say to anyone. Haven't we all met someone like that? Action moves swiftly and the ending is a surprise. Somehow, though, I was a little disappointed at the conclusion. Not the character who was the baddie. Well chosen. Just that the action seemed to slow down not seeming so immediate. However, Deadly Descent is a good read.

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