Dark Secrets, Small Towns

At first glance, I had the impression that Bitter Roots by C. J. Carmichael was a Western fiction novel. It is not. This is a story of a very small sheriff’s department in a very small town in a very small county where a murder has occurred. The victim was a temporary worker at the local Christmas Tree Farm, Riley Concurran, who had only been in town a little over a month. It was not a season for tourists. There were no mysterious strangers who had been seen by residents in a town where every stranger was scrutinized closely, and where every event was the subject of gossip at either the cafes or the Dew Drop Inn. All this meant that the killer was a local resident. Unmasking that person was the concern of the understaffed Sheriff’s Department.