Under the Radar
By Annette Dashofy
A Zoe Chambers Mystery #9
Henery Press, 2020
Paramedic and deputy coroner Zoe Chambers responds to a shooting and discovers her longtime friend, Horace Pavelka, has gunned down a man who’d bullied him mercilessly for decades. Ruled self-defense, no charges are filed. When another of his tormentors turns up dead in Horace’s kitchen, Police Chief Pete Adams questions the man’s innocence in both cases…especially after Horace and his girlfriend go into hiding.
While fighting to clear her friend, Zoe is handed the opportunity to finally learn what really happened to her long-lost sibling. What starts out as a quick road trip on a quest for answers leads her to an unfamiliar city in the middle of a November blizzard, where she finds way more trouble than she bargained for.
Pete’s own search for his missing fiancée and a missing murderer ultimately traps him in a web of deception. Face-to-face with one of the most cunning and deadly killers of his law enforcement career, Pete realizes too late that this confrontation may well be his last.
Annette Dashofy’s Zoe Chambers series is one of my favorites. In this newest release, Under the Radar, the writing is exquisite, characters well drawn, and the mystery spellbinding. Character development is one of the highlights of this series, as we get to know the regulars well and care about them. They are realistically drawn and relatable, people you could expect to meet in your own community.
While the story has elements of cozy mystery genre – small-town setting, murder takes place off screen, amateur involved in the investigation – Under the Radar has more of a traditional mystery or police procedural feel. The action is fast paced with good, solid investigation techniques employed by Zoe, Pete, and his staff. This book is hard to put down, and while I was eager to reach the conclusion, I wanted to savor every word.
Multiple storylines add richness to the story. Pete and Zoe’s wedding is in the planning stages with possible complications from Zoe’s mother. A highly contested race for county coroner could threaten Zoe’s job. Horace, a friend of Zoe’s who has experienced a lifetime of bullying, is a murder suspect. And then there’s word of the existence of Zoe’s half-brother, resulting in a road-trip search and further suspense. I can honestly say that there is nothing predictable about Under the Radar.
I greatly enjoyed Under the Radar and am eager for much more from these characters. Highly recommended.
Note: Readers will find some mild profanity, but the story is otherwise clean.
I received a copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural southwestern Pennsylvania.
A former EMT and lifelong resident of the area about which she writes, Annette lives with her husband and one very spoiled cat on what was once her grandfather’s dairy farm.
UNDER THE RADAR (February 2020) is the ninth in her series.