Reviewed by Joe Graham for Reader Views (5/07)
Bob Gallagher, is a truck driver who finds himself caught in an unexpected snowstorm on a narrow New England mountain pass road and accidentally kills a young girl, Rayleena Johnson, who was on her way to take a ski-season teaching intern job at The Black Mountain Inn which is close to the local ski slopes of Silver Peak. The local sheriff, Erickson, is convinced that the girl's death was just a tragic accident, but Greg Tayler, 20, from Australia, who is serving a four-month-long internship as a rock-climbing instructor at the inn is not convinced, and that accident and Greg's reaction is the impetus that sets the plot in motion. Before the accident, Greg had seen the girl's car struggling on the road and he had heard the truck coming over the pass and he had driven down from the inn to the highway on an ATV and had actually witnessed the crash. He was convinced that he saw two people in the car ten minutes before the fatal crash.
From that start, Lindley-Gauthier builds a riveting story that kept this reader turning the pages to try to learn who the villain was. To add to the plot, Gallagher's wife Dottie hears about the accident and decides to come up to the accident site to check on her husband and before she reaches the accident site, she becomes distracted and stops in the local wildlife refuge which is near the inn. She decides to take a short hike and enjoy being out in nature and in the process becomes disoriented and gets lost. Dottie has become a little unbalanced and they are back in this area because she wanted to come back home and Bob has given up his well-paying soil business to drive a truck for Dottie's brother so she could do just that.
Bob discovers that his wife may be missing in the wilderness area when her car is found in the refuge parking lot and he immediately starts searching for with the help of Greg. Bob's upset over the tragic wreck is compounded by the disappearance of his wife. And this is when the mystery begins to deepen. Greg and Bob discover several traps on the trails and Greg wonders how extensive were the plans of the killer to take out Rayleena and why the killer wanted to kill her. Greg enlists the help of others at the inn but he becomes suspicious of just about everyone and the reader and Greg are wondering who he can trust. The author keeps the reader guessing to end of the book who was the killer and what was going on with those traps on the trails.
I thoroughly enjoyed "A Case of Overkill" and would recommend it to any mystery reader. This is not a police detective story, but just a story about regular people caught up in a mystery that they feel the need to solve. The story was engaging and definitely kept me reading to the conclusion and the conclusion was not what I expected as Lindley-Gauthier kept me guessing until the final wrap-up.
Book received free of charge.