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Tired of the politics, publicity and endless nights that go with major homicides, Detective Mars Bahr and his partner Nettie Frisch have moved to the Cold Case Unit, which covers the Minneapolis Police Department's oldest unsolved cases. One of their first assignments is tackling the murders of rural convenience store employees, which leads them to a sixteen-year-old missing persons case.
In 1986, seventeen-year-old Andrea Bergstad was working alone at night at a rural Minnesota gas station when she vanished without a trace. On the store's fuzzy security videotape, one minute she's there, talking on the phone to her best friend, and the next she's gone. Now, sixteen years later, Mars goes back to Redstone, Minnesota, to try to put together the pieces of this baffling case.
In Redstone, Mars meets retired sheriff Sig Sampson, off the job for several years but haunted by the Bergstad case like it was yesterday. Sig Sampson is the only person who can help Mars do what needs to be done in order to solve it: His memory is the only thing that can take this cold case and make it hot.
Mars and Sig dive into the investigation, and Mars soon begins to think that their hard work will get them somewhere. But his concern over the details distracts him from the greater issues in the case, and before he knows it, the lives of the two most important people in Mars' life are at risk.
As with her most recent acclaimed novel, The Last Witness, KJ Erickson delivers a fast-paced, engaging, and surprising thriller.
In Anthony Award finalist Erickson's compelling fourth mystery to feature Marshall"Mars" Bahr (after 2003's The Last Witness), the former Minneapolis homicide detective has joined"the State of Minnesota's Cold Case Unit." Bahr and his new partner, Nettie Frisch, begin their first investigation by looking at a series of convenience store murders. They end up focussing on a single case involving a young woman clerk who disappeared in 1987. With Nettie providing computer skills and Mars handling the legwork, they rework the case from multiple angles. Skillfully, the author merges the tale of a small-town police chief coping with an unexpectedly exacting crime and Mars's follow-up. Erickson not only creates substantial individual portraits but credible and moving relationships between Mars and his teenage son Chris and between Mars and Nettie. By the end, Mars has a pretty good understanding of what happened but no proof. Facing a powerful and resourceful foe, he has to decide whether to pursue the killer and endanger himself and others with no guarantee of winning-or drop the case and still leave others in possible jeopardy. Erickson is in command all the way in this taut, suspenseful and cleverly conceived twister.