I took this Edgar-nominated mystery on vacation with me to while away the hours on a trans-Atlantic flight. It served that purpose well enough–the writing is good, the characters of Sheriff Quinn Colson and Deputy Lillie are appealing, and there is some snappy dialogue. The mystery, however, left me unimpressed. We know who the good guys and the bad guys are right from the beginning, and that never changes. The story concerns some Mexican drug lords who come to rural Mississippi to score some guns to use in their brutal turf war back home. Since no one in America really cares about this, the author chose to layer on two subplots to provide some human interest and add suspense. One concerns the morbidly obese American wife of one of the Mexicans, who is apparently running a baby-selling ring on the side and abusing the kids in the process. This might have been interesting, except the sheriff never investigates how the ring works, who would buy a baby from such a patently disreputable person, and why she is motivated to harm her “merchandise.” The other subplot involves a “dark childhood secret” that haunts the sheriff and his irresponsible younger sister. But this secret is totally predictable, and contains a big plot hole. Without creating a spoiler, I’ll ask–why is it that no one in town ever asked what happened to the third party involved in the kids’ dark episode? In the end, a whole bunch of people get shot up, with no apparent consequences to law enforcement. Ho-hum.