The death of a successful car dealer in the small town of Bibly is unusual enough to get people talking. But Hank Jasper didn’t die of a heart attack in the sanctuary of the Trinity Episcopal Church. He was murdered there, and his death sets off a chain of events that change lives forever.
Jasper, the richest man in town, had lived in Bibly for 15 years, but he was a loner and was rarely seen outside his dealership or the church. He was divorced, and his only child, Sam, a veterinary science student, visited occasionally. When the town’s police chief, Mack Schofield, begins to dig into Jasper’s past, he realizes that Jasper was more deeply connected to the townspeople of Bibly than anyone knew. Jasper had been through a nasty divorce, and his ex-wife told their son, Sam, that his father had many affairs and might have even fathered other children. Did some of them live in Bibly?
Phyllis Falls Rogers is adept at developing characters, and The Tangled Web is filled with them: the savvy police chief; the practical veterinarian and his wife, who was the last person to see Jasper alive; the plucky laundromat owner, a single mom, and her teen-age daughter; the fearless and compassionate priest, and two brothers who live on their own.
In addition to some intriguing characters, the plot of this mystery has some tantalizing twists: any one of the characters could have murdered Jasper, and when the true murderer is revealed, it’s a satisfying conclusion.
Rogers chose the perfect title for her first novel. Jasper’s death leaves a web of unanswered questions, and the answers to those questions weave a web through Bibly, as a brutal murder binds people together in ways they never imagined. Readers will find themselves caught up in the drama as they race to finish and learn the murderer’s identity.
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