Beck is the typical high school football hero who longs to escape his hometown. He goes to Notre Dame and then law school. He ends up in a big law firm in a big city and never looks back at the town (and father) he left behind. His perfect life is destroyed when his wife dies of breast cancer and leaves him with two young children. Beck quickly finds that he can't function as father, mother and lawyer, and he decides to return to his father and his small town.
That is the backstory and is told through the first several chapters. I found Gimenez's description of the town and its people interesting, and I really enjoyed the tidbits of Texas history.
The meat of the book finds Beck helping an old friend look into the murder of his sixteen year old daughter. It is a cold case with extenuating circumstances that frustrate our hero and the reader at times. He also finds himself dealing with the changing of the town that has been run by a German population who is not taking well to the Mexican immigrants who are moving in. The judge who was not particularly friendly to immigrants steps down, and Beck finds himself being cajoled into campaigning to take his place. None of the storylines are particularly original, but the author does it well. Watching Beck re-acclimate to a town he couldn't wait to leave is something many readers will find relatable, and the town's reaction to the hometown hero's return is somewhat predictable.
I liked the book and was glad to see that it was filled with the warmth and excitement that most of Gimenez's books display. While it wasn't my favorite of his books, I definitely recommend it to those who like a little bit of "hometown" mixed into their mystery.
Publisher - Sphere Publishing
Date of Publication - 2008