Small town stories make for in-depth novels and Marte Brengle’s debut Closed Circuit is no exception.
Lyric, Iowa and the electronics repair shop on the northwest corner of the town square set the stage for mystery, drama and romance. A sticky hot summer has barely begun when Ruth Peyton discovers that her landlord has sold the building where she lives and works – to Adam Tallbott, someone from her past that she’d rather not speak to ever again.
Not only that, but there are rumours flying that he’s bought other buildings around town, and is planning to raze them all. Or build a supermarket. Or dig for minerals. Gossip runs wild and all too soon Ruth finds herself in the thick of it, as Adam tries to win his way back into her life.
Can she play him long enough to find out what he’s really up to – without losing her heart to him in the process?
Brengle has created an entire cast of characters for Lyric who soon become as familiar to the reader as their own friends, and the story is told in an omniscient voice that allows their individual traits to shine through. There’s Chet, the kind curmudgeon who works with Ruth – determined to solve his own mystery in the town – Jodi, femme fatale, who gets her comeuppance the first time in one hilarious scene involving a too-short skirt – and a few shady characters running – or trying to run – a pot growing operation. Plus Grace, Eleanor, Eddie...
The next book in the series is called The Dutchman’s Puzzle and will continue the story of Lyric and its inhabitants – I can’t wait!
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)