Praise for Disturbing the Dead...
"Edge-of-the-seat suspense and a budding romance for Tom and Rachel make this essential reading for fans of Margaret Maron and Karin Slaughter."
-Library Journal starred review
Tom Bridger, who is half Melungeon, thought he had escaped his mountain community's lingering prejudice against the mixed-race group when he left to work for the Richmond, Virginia Police Department. Then a family tragedy brought him back home and moved him into his father's job as a county sheriff's deputy.
Now the bones of a Melungeon woman have surfaced on a remote mountaintop, and all evidence points to murder. Violence escalates as the victim's poor family and the wealthy white family she married into scramble to protect their secrets from Tom's probing.
In the meantime, Tom's new love, veterinarian Rachel Goddard, struggling to escape her own past, puts herself in danger when she befriends the dead woman's niece. The girl witnessed something that could implicate the killer, but she is too terrified to tell anyone what she knows. The guilty are determined to silence her-and Rachel too, if she interferes-changing Tom's investigation into a personal quest to lay the dead...and the living...to rest.
Sandra Parshall is a native southerner who worked as a reporter in South Carolina, West Virginia, and Maryland. She lives in Northern Virginia.
"Tom Bridger, the lead detective for the Mason County (VA) Sheriff's department and of Melungeon (mixed-race) descent, heads a search for the missing skull belonging to a skeleton uncovered on a remote mountaintop. Ten years ago, a Melungeon woman named Pauline McClure vanished, and Tom's father had worked the case until the car accident that killed him and most of the Bridger family. Introduced in The Heat of the Moon, veterinarian Rachel Goddard gets involved in the McClure case when she hires Pauline's niece to work in her animal hospital. Parshall writes complex stories peopled with characters dealing with many personal problems and secrets. As she shows, disturbing the dead in this remote Appalachian community can be a very serious-and dangerous-business. Edge-of-the-seat suspense and a budding romance for Tom and Rachel make this essential reading for fans of Margaret Maron and Karin Slaughter."--Library Journal starred review
"In Parshall's dark, suspenseful second novel (after 2006's Heat of the Moon), Mason County, Va., sheriff's deputy Tom Bridger reopens a cold case that his predecessor-his deceased father, John-never fully closed. Ten years earlier, Pauline McClure, a Melungeon woman (of Portuguese and Native American descent) went missing, and when Tom unearths her bones, he discovers she died of an ax blow to her skull. Pauline had married into a snobbish, wealthy white family, and the reopening of her case pits local Melungeons against the white establishment. Additional tension arises when Tom's romantic interest, veterinarian Rachel Goddard (the heroine of Heat of the Moon), hires and befriends Pauline's teenage niece, Holly Turner, whose connection to the tragedy puts her and Rachel in danger. Both Tom, who's of half Melungeon heritage, and Rachel, who's a recent transplant to Mason County, hoped to leave behind their respective recent violent pasts. Instead, they're drawn into the center of a lethal, gothic drama. (Mar.)" --Publishers Weekly
"Veterinarian Rachel Goddard and Police Captain Tom Bridger have moved to Mountainview, Va., trying to forget the violence that overtook them in their debut (The Heat of the Moon, not reviewed). Several skeletons are unearthed on a nearby mountain, including that of Pauline Turner McClure, a beautiful Melungeon of mixed-race ancestry who married into a wealthy family and vanished after the death of her husband, leaving her daughter Mary Lee to inherit a large estate. As a half-Melungeon, Tom is more than a little interested in the case, especially since it was one of the rare failures in his father's career. When Holly Turner, Pauline's look-alike animal-loving niece, gets a job at Rachel's clinic, Holly's relatives and her father, the local drug dealer who's the prime suspect in Pauline's murder, want her to return home, perhaps because her nightmares may reveal too much about the strife-ridden past of the McClures and the Turners. Meantime, Tom gets shot by a suspect and Rachel is threatened and fired upon when she refuses to let Holly's relatives drag her away from her new life. Tom must dig deeply into a case that threatens his respect for his father, and Rachel must face her worst fears before a violent confrontation brings closure." --Kirkus Reviews
"Edge-of-the-seat suspense and a budding romance for Tom and Rachel make this essential reading for fans of Margaret Maron and Karin Slaughter" --"Library Journal", starred review "Fast-paced, chilling and compulsively readable." --"Kirkus Reviews" "This is a fascinating book of past mysteries, present threats, and a young woman who remembered things she was told never happened." --"Mysterious Women"
"Edge-of-the-seat suspense and a budding romance for Tom and Rachel make this essential reading for fans of Margaret Maron and Karin Slaughter" --"Library Journal," starred review "Fast-paced, chilling and compulsively readable." --"Kirkus Reviews" "This is a fascinating book of past mysteries, present threats, and a young woman who remembered things she was told never happened." --"Mysterious Women""