The Deadly Dunes (Mac McClellan Mystery – 3) by E. Michael Helms
(Excerpt from Goodreads) Hours after hiring Mac McClellan to investigate the supposed suicide of her archaeologist brother, single-mom Jessie dies in a car accident. Jessie had just showed Mac artifacts and a copy of a map Jake found, items that indicate Hernando de Soto and his explorers might have camped on Five Mile Island during the winter of 1539-1540. Studying the map, Mac determines the site lies in the middle of a planned resort, The Dunes. Declaring the area an historic site could shut the project down. Suspicions aroused, he forges ahead, even though he no longer has a paying client.
Everywhere Mac turns, greed abounds, and no one he interviews seems innocent, even Jessie’s closest friends the Deckers, who have adopted her teenage daughter. Ron Decker’s construction company is building the Dunes, and he is heavily invested in its success. Then there is the oily son and ex-stripper wife of an old curmudgeon who won’t sell the one lot the project still needs to acquire. Jake’s estranged wife Laurel had plenty to gain from his death, and as Mac continues to dig, he begins to wonder if Jessie herself had more at stake than he was led to believe.
No one is happy about Mac’s persistence, and someone is unhappy enough to crash his truck and frame him for yet another murder. But Mac isn’t giving up, no matter what the cost.
An archaeologist, Jake has been found dead, the police rule it a suicide but his sister, Jessie knows better. Because he was looking for Hearnando de Soto had camped in the same area he was investigating, Jessie knows that it was murder. She calls Mac in to investigate. Mac discovers that a resort is planned on being built in the same area. There are a lot of suspects that seem to have something to gain from this resort. But when they decide to try and take out Mac, things get very personal.
This is Mac’s first official case as a private investigator. But this case is no so cut and dry. Because Jake had some mental health issues the suicide seems to be closer to the truth, but the more Mac digs the more it looks like someone is trying to hide something. Then they target him and things get really exciting.
This is a great mystery. I didn’t know who did it until the end because there are a lot of potential killers for many different reasons. There is a lot of action and you can’t help but liking Mac. Mac is a true down home hero. I couldn’t put this book down until the wee hours of the morning.
I f you are looking for a great mystery full of thrills and chills I recommend you check out Deadly Dunes. As for me, I’m going to find the first two books in the series and find out more about Mac.
I received Deadly Dunes for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.