cover image The River View: A Jules Clement Novel

The River View: A Jules Clement Novel

Jamie Harrison. Counterpoint, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-64009-632-5

Harrison’s riveting fifth adventure for Montana PI Jules Clement (after 2000’s Blue Deer Thaw) is worth the wait. In 1972, when Jules was a child, his father, the sheriff of Blue Deer, Mont., was gunned down during a traffic stop. Patrick Bell was convicted of the murder—he claimed he’d been on the way home to kill his unfaithful wife and the sheriff “was in the way”—but the precise circumstances of the crime were never made clear. Now, in 2001, Jules’s mother urges him to learn as much as he can about his father’s final moments. While Jules reluctantly revisits that case, he juggles others: his meddlesome neighbors separately hire him to spy on one another; a priest’s suicide starts to look like it may have been a murder; and Absaroka County hires him to determine where, exactly, the bodies are buried in an abandoned graveyard that officials want to build a road over. Eventually, most of the plot’s individual strands come together, with the death of Jules’s father as a linchpin. The episodic structure works wonders, with each vignette highlighting Jules’s damage as well as his brilliance. Here’s hoping the PI’s next case arrives sooner than this one did. Agent: Dara Hyde, Hill Nadel Literary. (Aug.)