A forest fire burning in the mountains surrounding a remote California village interrupts the Oktoberfest celebration, followed by the discovery of the mayor who has been beheaded. Sheriff's Detective Dex Stafford concludes everybody hated the mayor for different and very good reasons, but nobody will talk. His nerves fraying, Stafford finds himself involved with his partner's hysterical daughter, at a time when he fears his partner is on the take. His mother moves in with him, bringing a Jack Russell who hates him, and stories about his father he doesn't want to hear. Patrol Officer Holly Seabright of the village's security force becomes a prickly ally in uncovering the hints and whispers of something much worse than the murder of the mayor. Stafford pools resources with the attractive and smart patrol officer on a twisted trail of discovery as winter and the big snows shut down the town. A killer beyond his imagining haunts the town. Sometime soon, unless he can stop it, there will be another death, and then still another.
About the Author
Mar Preston is the author of No Dice and Rip-Off, and On Behalf of the Family, all featuring Detective Dave Mason of the Santa Monica Police Department and his girlfriend Ginger McNair, a community activist. She was a long-time Santa Monica activist and divides her time between Santa Monica and the peaceful mountain village that is somewhat like the setting of Payback. However, only nice people live there. A sequel to Payback is in process.