This is the third in the Clare Ferguson/Russ Van Alstyne mystery series by Spencer-Fleming. This review assumes you've read the first two. For just my recommendation, skip to below the asterisks.
Millers Kill, New York, is blessed to have a free clinic to serve the uninsured and economically disadvantaged citizens of the town. Jane Ketchem founded the clinic in memory of her husband, who drove away one March night in 1930, never to be seen again. Although Jonathon Ketchem was eventually declared legally dead, his disappearance remains the only open cold case in Police Chief Van Alstyne's files.
Lacey Ketchem Marshall, the daughter of the late Jane Ketchem, is the sole beneficiary of her mother's trust fund. When the roof of St. Alban's Episcopal Church begins to leak, Lacey tells the Reverend Ferguson that she'd like to pull funds from the clinic to pay for the repairs. Soon thereafter, Dr. Allan Rouse, director of the clinic, goes missing--almost seventy years to the day that Lacey's father was last seen.
Clare and Russ find themselves facing a series of seemingly unrelated mysteries: What really happened to Jonathon? Where did Jane get the money to fund the clinic? What happened to Allan? Meanwhile, as the pair work together to answer these questions, their relationship seems to be taking them into dangerous territory.
The mysteries in this book are not standard whodunits. Instead, we explore how simple decisions can have unforeseen consequences, even across generations. And the most loving and protective parents cannot know how their choices will effect the lives of their children; sometimes the results of such choices are haunting.
Out of the Deep I Cry is a strong entry in Spencer-Fleming's series, although it is less action packed than the first two books and takes a bit of time to develop. However, the principal theme is examined from a number of angles and leaves readers asking themselves some hard questions. The main characters continue to grow and are not freed from pondering similar difficult issues. Fans of the series will not be disappointed.
The unabridged audio was read by Suzanne Toren, whose inflections and timing were perfect for the novel.
Published by St. Martin's Press, 2005