True Detective meets X-Files in the first installment of the Luke McWhorter series
Nine physicists are dead. The medical examiner has determined that the victims died from drinking coffee laced with rat poison. The owner of the house, Professor Thaddeus Huntgardner, isn’t suspected, but his claim that a piece of the debris from Roswell’s 1947 UFO crash was hidden in Flagler might be true. Enter Luther “Luke” Stephens McWhorter, a Yale Divinity School–educated West Texas sheriff with all the right questions.
Is the fragment real? If so, who is trying to locate it? And what has fueled the byzantine activities of Abbot County’s two secret societies for the past 70 years? Working with FBI agent and girlfriend, Angie Steele, Sheriff Luke begins to put together all the pieces and come to understand the connection between seemingly unrelated phenomena.
Lynch (Strategy of the Dolphin: Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World) makes his fiction debut with an intriguing paranormal mystery, a series launch. Flagler, Tex., sheriff Luke McWhorter finds a disturbing crime scene at the abandoned house of retired physics professor Thaddeus Huntgardner: nine eviscerated male corpses, whose deteriorated condition makes ascertaining the cause of death and their identities a challenge. A whiteboard near the bodies depicts a mushroom cloud with the date July 16, 1945, the day the first atomic bomb was detonated. The stakes rise when someone breaks into McWhorter's home, leaving behind a flashing blue light mimicking a police emergency beacon atop a note warning: "DON'T MAKE ROSWELL'S MISTAKE!" It turns out a fragment of the UFO that crashed in Roswell, N.Mex, in 1947 may be hidden in Flagler. An unusual lead, page-turning suspense, and a crackerjack plot help make this a winner, though it falls short of the standard set by similar books by bestsellers Preston and Child. The X-Files fans will be eager for the next installment.