Next of Kin
by Samantha Jayne Allen
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Pub Date 23 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 07 May 2024
St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books
From Tony Hillerman Prize-winning author Samantha Jayne Allen comes Next of Kin, a mesmerizing novel set in a hardscrabble Texas town, where the past is never far away.
At a gathering for her cousin’s wedding party, newly-licensed PI Annie McIntyre gets asked an age-old question: what really makes us who we are, nature or nurture? Clint Marshall, an up-and-coming musician and an adoptee at a personal crossroads, wants to hire Annie to find his biological parents, and that question is on his mind. Annie accepts his case, not knowing then that she, too, must decide if she really believes what she tells him that night—in essence, that people are in charge of their destinies. That people can change.
When Annie discovers her client's father is a bank robber who her granddad, Leroy, arrested back when he was sheriff, reverberations sound between the past and the present, igniting old flames and rivalries. When the brother of her client dies suddenly, his death ruled a suicide, Annie questions whether or not it was in fact homicide—and who in this family of outlaws would rather some secrets stay buried.
As Annie sets out to find who killed the brother—and stays out of sight lest she be next—she finds herself searching abandoned, overgrown fields, scouring pool halls and roadside motels, wondering if she will ever escape the sense that her world in Garnett, TX expands and contracts in off-kilter ways, growing smaller and yet still more confounding. Fearing that in a place where everyone knows everyone, your enemy is always closer than you think.