Ron races through a Sierra Nevada blizzard to Clay’s house, but he’s too late. Clay is already dead. Someone has driven a wooden stake through Clay’s heart. Impaled him.
Things get even more macabre. Marlene Flower Moon, Clay’s production partner on his latest film, slips past a police guard and enters the murder scene. She sniffs the body, picking up the killer’s scent in the most literal way.
If that’s not enough, an earthquake hits, triggering a number of avalanches. Ron hopes Mother Nature has trapped the killer in Goldstrike, the mountain resort town where he’s now mayor.
Maybe she has. Because a screenwriter Clay talked to about collaborating with him on his final script soon turns up dead. So now there are two murder cases to solve.
What I liked: The more of each book in a series I read by Mr. Flynn, the most engrossed I am in all the characters. Yup, love character driven books with some sly humor and the interactions between all of the characters. Believe me, there's not a scarcity of characters either. They are all well developed and each is clever.
Having never lived in any town like Goldstrike, I find the author has built a unique community and a league of characters to fill it. The last book, Defiled, revealed Mayor Steadman's illness and his request that Chief of Police Ron Ketchum run for mayor. Impaled seems to take place approximately a year later. Finding Steadman murdered after being asked to come over, Ron is finding it hard to let the current Chief of Police, Oliver Gosden, take the reins. Not to worry, with the town full of celebrities to view the premier of what is Steadman's last film, Texas Mean, another murder occurs, so Ketchum and Oliver have to divide forces to find the killers, or are the murders connected?
To make things even worse, Goldstrike has been cut off from the outside by avalanches and then to top things off, an earthquake hits, pretty much assuring the town of a long couple of days.
I really couldn't figure out the killer(s) or the reasoning behind each one. I had a bit of a clue on the previous mayor's murder, but not the "who dun it". The second murder just really seemed random until Mr. Flynn began to reveal more information. In the meantime, Ketchum's new wife, Keely, is caught on the outside looking in as she's unable to get past the closed roads into Goldstrike. This might be a good thing as Ketchum is having her chase leads and do interviews he and Oliver are unable to do.
The death of a major film star and the people whose lives he touched is endearingly captured. Steadman could be a control freak and loved being in charge but he was extremely generous with his family, friends, the town of Goldstrike and many others. So the town is fighting to find the murderer while dealing with the pain of loss. I enjoyed Steadman's character immensely and was saddened at the end of the last book when his condition was revealed.
What I didn't like: There were several changes of POVs and some readers might not like that aspect. For me, I enjoyed it as I love the characters and their idiosyncrasies. Each character deserved their moment to keep the story flowing.
While this is only book three in the Ron Ketchum Mystery Series, I sincerely hope Mr. Flynn continues on. Yes, there are changes looming but I hope to see it through to a logical, happy conclusion.
Highly Recommended. (While I enjoyed the previous two books in this series, Impaled is by far my favorite but you need to read the first two to thoroughly enjoy this one).