It must be satisfying for an author of a popular series like the Andy Carpenter novels to write not one but two well-received standalones. This, of course, is the second, and is a thriller of the first order. While the concept, predictions in an unearthed time capsule, is not novel, the execution of this story is. It seems that burying a time capsule by the town’s newspaper every 50 years is a tradition. But four years after its burial a hurricane flooded the area, and fear that the contents might be damaged led to its being unearthed.
When the dirt burying the time capsule was removed, a skeleton was found on top of it. Then when the contents were exposed, a series of bizarre predictions not originally included were discovered. Thus begins an intense investigation led by Chief of Police Jake Robbins and deep investigative reporting by the local paper, complicated by the fact that the husband of Katie Sanford, the editor and publisher, was convicted years before of killing Jake’s wife. To further muddy the waters, Jake and Katie had a one-night stand before he was married and they seem still attracted to each other.
The plot and writing are top-notch, and the twists and turns keep the reader’s interest at a maximum. And even once in a while, the humor of such a character as Andy Carpenter sporadically shines. The tension mounts page by page and in wrapping the story up, the author concludes in a manner so completely unexpected that the reader has to wonder what was missed along the way.