A Dead Red Heart-4 Stars
R. P. Dahlke
Dead Bear Publishing, 2011, 281 Pages
ISBN No. 9781463582814
Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid
Lalla Bains is an ex-model and Aero Ag pilot and a wonderful character that I am looking forward to getting to know better. After giving up her modeling career as well as giving up a couple of husbands, Lalla is back in Modesto, California.
Lalla's father is in bad health and so is his crop dusting business. Crop dusting does not sound like a very complicated business but I soon found out that it is a very complicated business particularly when someone is sabotaging your company.
Sheriff Caleb Stone is the main man in Lalla's life but when Billy Wayne Dobson, a man who is self-medicating his post-traumatic stress disorder, begins to stalk Lalla, she decides to take matters into her own hands rather than allow Caleb to handle the problem. Caleb is talking restraining order and Lalla just can't bring herself to allow the restraining order to be issued. Billy Wayne is shy and easily startled and Lalla feels that she is better equipped to deal with Billy Wayne.
Mr. Kim's Chinese restaurant is where Lalla locates Billy Wayne who appears to be in a drunken stupor. When Lalla tries to wake Billy up he rolls over and she sees the blood stains spreading across his shirt. Billy Wayne manages to give Lalla a cryptic message just before he dies.
The author introduces the reader to a number of characters that make this book a great read. Rather than trust Sheriff Stone and his staff to find the murderer Lalla begins her own investigation into Billy Wayne's death as well the problems behind her father's crop dusting business and generally gets herself in a ton of trouble.
If Lalla pulls into your town in her vintage cherry red Cadillac, get ready for a lot of excitement. This is the second book in the series but it is not necessary to read the books in order. I look forward to reading more books by R. P. Dahlke.