Book Review: Back From The Brink by Emery Hayes
This is the second in a series about Nicole Cobain, sheriff of a remote Montana community. I read and reviewed the first in the series, Cold to the Bone, and even though I had a few small issues with it, I was intrigued enough to want to read the next. I’m happy to report this one is a lot better! It’s got everything I wanted from the first, with Nicole getting to explore her romance with the local ME. Weirdly, she missed out on the final confrontation for the second time, though there were certainly plenty of violent and dramatic scenes she was part of as she and her department investigate a complicated case, starting with a frozen body in a lake and a pregnant young woman running for her life.
It’s a story of corruption, opioids and illegal immigrants crossing the border from Canada, which is probably not the border most would think of when they think of illegal border crossings. Considering the incredible length of the border and the impenetrable wilderness of much of it, it’s obviously exploitable. Border Patrol in the region outnumbers Nicole’s forces over three to one, so potential corruption in the BP force is an intimidating prospect. All Nicole and her team can do is follow the breadcrumbs wherever they lead.
Nicole is a fascinating protagonist, and I think you could pick up well enough here if you haven’t read the first one as the backgrounds of the important characters are lightly sketched in. The author does a good job of conveying the remote wildness and beauty of the area, the dangers inherent in the weather and terrain which those who live in it have to contend with. Although the stakes in this book are less personal for Nicole - the villain in the first one was her ex - there’s still a betrayal here that cuts to the core and makes her question her own judgement, quite apart from threatening her very survival. This is turning into a really great series, as I hoped it might, and I’m now very much looking forward to the next one. Five stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.