This is a series procedural with well established characters and a rural small town police department integrating (more or less) successfully with area and national task forces. This is an ensemble returning cast and a solid western mystery. The central players have a long and varied history together. There are familial and generational connections (and not always in a positive manner). Despite being the 7th book in this series, the author is a technically adept writer and sufficient backstory is written in to provide readers enough backstory without info-dumping. I was unfamiliar with the series previously though I believe I might've read one or two of the author's earlier works, and I had no trouble following along.
There were some dangling threads on a couple of the plot points, but overall it's a well written and engaging mystery. I could've done without the strong romance subplot, but I appreciate that there are many readers who really enjoy mystery with a healthy romance angle.
There is some potentially triggering content for some readers including opioid use and overdose, kidnapping, and human trafficking.
The unabridged audiobook has a run time of 9 hours, 47 minutes and is capably narrated by Nancy Wu. She does a good job of bringing characters of varying ages to life (from children to adults) and both men and women and managing to keep them distinct and identifiable. Production and sound quality are high throughout.
Four stars for both print and audiobook versions.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.