Having worked in Bellows falls for close to two decades, I have to say that Archer Mayor’s descriptions of the town and the often contradictory attitudes of the people who live here was spot on. Unfortunately, the plot was a relatively mundane procedural that didn’t really do it for me.
I can see what Mayor is going for here — Aside from action set pieces designed to spice things up, this could have been a book based on true events. This sort of procedural can be fascinating. I’m thinking of David Simon’s non-fiction masterpiece, Homicide: A Year on The Killing Street in which Simon followed the Baltimore Homicide police for a full year. Bellows Falls is not Baltimore, however, so Mayor’s fictional procedural comes off as pedestrian. The action set pieces here feel tack on and are not enough to spice up an otherwise dull tale.