Tyrus, Jun 21 2011, $24.95
In 2008 in Oregon, former cop Skin Kadash returns from his month long retreat after his recent harrowing experiences (see Day One). He visits his beloved Ruby Jane Whittaker but she does not answer her phone nor is she at one of her Uncommon Cups shops. Skin learns from RJ’s employee Marcy that Ruby Jane left a couple of weeks ago on personal matters. Her Portland apartment contains the corpse of Dale and soon after finding the dead body someone attacks Skin.
Skin drives to the San Francisco Bay Area to confront RJ’s former lover Pete, but he knows nothing about her whereabouts and now is concerned too. They agree next stop her home town in Ohio. Although Skin remains ignorant, Ruby Jane is indeed in the Buckeye State, but has learned the hard way you can’t go home especially to a dysfunctional family that she has spent years running away from.
Rotating between Skin’s first person missing person’s Noir and Ruby Jane's first person haunting high school age narration from two decades ago, County Line is a dark thriller filled with spins and twists as nothing is quite what the reader perceives it is. Although on the surface, the two subplots are extremely bleak, there is an underlying theme of belonging and connecting with someone who cares as being an essential need of people. Bill Cameron provides a grim character driven thriller yet there is also a glimmer of hope.