A review of “Lonesome Highway (Violet Darger FBI Mystery Thriller Book 11)” by Tim McBain and LT Vargus

Lonesome Highway is scheduled for an October 31,2022 release

The (almost) perfect crime

Big Jon’s Truck stop is not the largest stop on Interstate 95, nor is it the smallest but when a body turns up naked and bound in a remote area of the lot it could contend for most dangerous. Darger and Loshak are called to the scene to assist and immediately are introduced to onlookers and eyewitnesses. As they begin their round of interviews they are called to a nearby scene. Two more bodies, with near identical markings are located at a locally known “party motel”. With the area being mostly over the road truckers and very transient, the duo have their work cut out for them. With the assistance of ViCAP a pattern begins to form and what initially was thought as a series of three murders could potentially expand to include numerous other cold cases spanning several years all up and down the I-95 corridor. In a mass effort to crack the case, representatives from the other affected case areas are called to the scene to offer insight and assist in a manhunt all along the Eastern Seaboard. But as Darger and Loshak track and interview their suspects and they start ruling them out one by one a “tip” falls into their possession that appears to blast the case wide open. But Darger smells a rat and as she continues to sniff around Big Jon’s she finds herself staring down the biggest challenge yet that could make her career or cut it short prematurely.

Lonesome Highway is the 11th in the Violet Darger series of thrillers by author duo Tim McBain and LT Vargus. This newest case takes place only a few weeks after the events of When Darkness Falls and Darger and Loshak have retuned to their respective homes for a little down time. But this is not ever long-lived and with Darger still on the mend from her time in the Alaskan wilderness the duo hit the open road destined for Big Jon’s truck stop in rural North Carolina. Arriving shortly after the discovery of the body, the pair get the rare opportunity to view the scene as is and even interview some onlookers and witnesses, including the maintenance worker who discovered the victim. As their various suspects are identified, the duo are challenged with tracking down and interviewing the suspects in various locations. For me, this was a brilliant approach with the pair having to track down truckers in various locations and bring the interview to them rather than having them brought to the station. The various dynamics and personalities of each person they spoke with had me following along with my own favorites for who the culprit could be, but true to form with this pair all is never what is seems and many times the culprit is hiding in plain sight. Where the prior case in When Darkness Falls was a slow build,  Lonesome Highway is a case that moves at a breakneck speed from beginning to end. With the entire plot line spanning less than a week there is barely time to breathe which I feel adds to the already tense aspect of the story.

If you are already a fan of this series, Lonesome Highway will not disappoint and if you have never read a Darger book before this would be a good one to start with. While technically part of a larger series of books the installments are structured in such a way that each book also works well as a stand-alone offering. McBain and Vargus have another successful hit on their hands and Agents Darger and Loshak show no signs of stopping soon. Here’s hoping that the pair returns for another case sooner rather than later.

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