Cyanide Wells, Marcia Muller's first stand-alone novel since the brilliant Point Deception, is a tale of treachery and intrigue spanning 14 years and the breadth of a continent. Matthew and Gwen Lindstrom were, for all intents and purposes, a happy couple. They had their issues, as most married couples do, but they were young and deeply in love. Or so Matthew thought until Gwen's abrupt disappearance under mysterious circumstances, with foul play suspected. From that moment on, life was upended for Matthew. Nothing was ever proven, but suspicion and innuendo drove him out of his home, his job and the comfortable life he had enjoyed. Fast-forward 14 years: an anonymous phone call surprises Lindstrom with the news that his wife is alive, and that she is well aware of the misery and heartache she has caused him. By turns angry and unbelieving, Lindstrom makes his way to California to confront Gwen and discover the truth. The truth in this case, however, will prove more convoluted than either Lindstrom or the reader could predict. Crisp dialogue and excellent plot development characterize Muller's writing, and Cyanide Wells is no exception. As was the case with Point Deception, the reader finds himself (or herself) hoping that Muller will see fit to fashion another series around the characters.
Nashville-based writer Bruce Tierney is a lifelong mystery reader who was weaned on the Hardy Boys.