A homicide detective hunts down his wife's killers while struggling between his thirst for revenge and a twinge of conscience forbidding him to take the law into his own hands. Homicide Detective Max Rupert never fully accepted his wife’s death, even when he believed that a reckless hit-and-run driver was to blame. Haunted by memories both beautiful and painful, he is plagued by feelings of unfinished business. When Max learns that, in fact, Jenni was murdered, he must come to terms with this new information—and determine what to do with it. Struggling to balance his impulses as a vengeful husband with his obligations as a law enforcement officer, Max devotes himself to relentlessly hunting down those responsible. For most of his life, he has thought of himself as a decent man. But now he’s so consumed with anguish and thoughts of retribution that he finds himself on the edge, questioning who he is and what he stands for. On a frozen lake at the US–Canadian border, he wrestles with decisions that could change his life forever, as his rage threatens to turn him into the kind of person he has spent his entire career bringing to justice.
In Edgar-finalist Eskens's engrossing fourth Max Rupert mystery (after 2016's The Heavens May Fall), the Minneapolis police detective has yet to recover from the death five years earlier of his wife, Jenni struck by a hit-and-run driver, who was never identified, as she was leaving her administrative job at the Hennepin County Medical Center. Drinking too much and running afoul of his higher-ups, Rupert is close to losing his job, the only thing that gives his life meaning. Then D.A. Boady Sanden, a former friend, presents Rupert with evidence that Jenni's death was no accident. When a case sends Rupert to Hennepin County Medical to interrogate a murder suspect, Rupert takes the opportunity to visit a coworker of Jenni's, who sets him on a trail toward identifying his wife's killer. In the end, Rupert must decide what he's ready to do to obtain his goal: vengeance for Jenni. Eskens relies too heavily on coincidence, but a well-constructed plot and a sympathetic lead will keep readers turning the pages.