The premise of this short novel, a mysterious and brutal death, is intriguing, as is its setting. The writing is intelligent and the main character, Richard Browne, is well explored. His uncertainty and mis-steps are particularly appealing. Most of the detail regarding life in 17th century New England is accurate. Once the plot line is laid out, however, the story never goes anywhere else, sinking into 100 pages of dialogue and inner monologue.