KILLER VIEW by Ridley Pearson.

Walt Fleming likes being the Sheriff of Sun Valley, Idaho, playground and sometime residence of the rich and famous; he likes it despite all of the rich and famous people. Being a native, Walt prefers the back-country way of life to the glitz of people whom the paparazzi chase down as prey for their cameras. He prefers living slow, raising his twin daughters and spending time with his loving wife.

Except Walt no longer has a loving wife, he has an estranged wife, who happens to be living with his best deputy. And while Walt does have his kids, he just doesn’t have time to take care of them properly because he’s the sheriff, not the deputy. And that’s all before one of his best friends gets killed during a night-rescue operation in the mountains.

It takes a while to figure out exactly what happened to Randy Aker and, when Walt goes in search of Randy’s brother Mark, it takes a while to figure out that Mark is missing and quite possibly kidnapped. Things begin getting very complicated very quickly, and the girls need their supper.

Mining a well-known but still rich vein of the mystery sub-genre, the modern western sheriff, Pearson joins the ranks of such writers as C.J. Box or Michael McGarrity as the best of the lot. Killer View noses on any number of occasions into some pretty familiar territory, yet it stays well above the average by the deft touch of veteran Pearson, never feeling stale, never taking the easy way out, with some truly well-written dialogue. This second entry in the Walt Fleming series may finally earn Pearson the thriller audience he has long deserved.