William Landay is at it again. In Mission Flats he weaves a complex tale of intrigue and suspense using characters that are full of contradictions and complexities. Multiple stories weave in and out of each other’s paths leaving the reader gasping for breath in an attempt to keep track of and stay in touch with the stories frenetic pace.
The discovery of a dead DA in a cabin in the woods of Versailles, Maine is the launch pad for the book. But as Landay says in the book, There is no absolute beginning to any story, after all. There is only the moment you begin watching. The story jumps back and forth by decades as long forgotten sins come back to haunt the characters in the story. The story is told from the perspective of the Chief of Police of Versailles – Ben Truman. He discovers the dead DA and watches as the state police step in and take over the case. Through a sense of duty and pride, Ben follows the case to Boston where he ingrains himself into the investigation. During his time there he is helped by John Kelly, a retired cop, Caroline Kelly, John’s daughter and the ADA, Martin Grittens, a tough cop who knows the Mission Flats like the back of his hands.
Each of the characters in the story have things to hide; secrets that they would prefer stayed buried – even Ben. William Landay teases these buried secrets out, bit by bit, and unveils the whole picture slowly.
After Defending Jacob, I was worried about picking up this book. I didn’t think it would live up to the earlier book (although Defending Jacob was written after Mission Flats). I needn’t have worried. In Landay, I have found a storyteller after my own heart. Can’t wait to get started on The Strangler, his latest work.