Jesse Eichenlaub has just been elected Sheriff of Klinkton county, a rural backwoods community of gun lovers that hosts a popular and always dangerous hunting season. Having no previous law enforcement experience, Jesse is put under the spotlight by opportunistic locals who mistake his academic demeanor as a sign of weakness. With an abundance of patience and a firm desire to make a difference he takes every opportunity to bond with the residents while guarding his back from the unfortunate incidents of his past.
However, it’s the circumstances of the present that threaten to take his job, his girlfriend, and perhaps his life. A series of shootings precedes the fabled hunting season, forcing the sheriff into action. As the investigation limps along on under-funded crutches, each succeeding death makes it clear that these are not accidents. Now the newly minted sheriff and his staff are racing to link together seemingly ordinary folks in order to establish a motive and track down the killer.
As a mystery, Russ Heitz's novel hits the target dead center. The characters provide a light, fluid backdrop for a story that is driven by black coffee and personal secrets. Crosshairs presents the reader with the widest possible range of gun-toting characters imaginable. From a lesbian Olympic target shooter to a hefty, aggravated county commissioner, everyone is armed with lead. In light of their weapons you’d assume that any individual was capable of justifying a murder, but the author teaches you that it just doesn’t work that way. It takes more than a motive to commit the ultimate sin.
Crosshairs – Author: Russ Heitz Publisher: Yellowback Mysteries (May 21, 2007) ISBN-10: 1596635479, pgs $16.95