Welcome to Paradise County, Minnesota. No, it’s not quite Eden. It was named after a lumberman who logged off towering groves of virgin pines and left catastrophe in his wake, but these days it’s just another quiet, lonely place in the cold heart of flyover land. Or at least it was until a baffling mystery grips the county seat of Pineland.
The county’s richest man vanishes. Then, a shadowy figure who calls himself the Serenader posts threatening messages just as a high-powered lawyer from Chicago arrives in town with a mysterious story of her own. Murder and mayhem follow, set to the music of an all-but-forgotten song called “Pineland Serenade.”
Law enforcement appears at a loss, and it’s left to the newly elected county attorney, Paul Zweifel, to take charge. A sharp-tongued loner whose best friend is a border collie named Camus, Zweifel begins digging into the mystery even as he becomes a suspect in the crimes. The case leads him down a winding trail into the pure heart of evil and a final, chilling confrontation with the Serenader.
A Virgil Flowers thriller set in southwestern Minnesota. John’s an old friend and colleague and graciously invited me to help a bit with plotting and character development. John’s fans can be assured, however, that the writing is his own.