Philip Craig delivers an off-season caper set on Martha’s Vineyard that showcases his trademark eye for rich characterization and suspenseful island intrigue.
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and hunting season is in full swing on the Vineyard. J. W. Jackson -- retired cop, dedicated fisherman, and passionate cook -- is more or less holed up with his wife, Zee, and their two spunky kids for the winter. At least dear old dad has finally agreed to get a computer to keep them connected to the outside world! Otherwise, their cozy Vineyard home is pretty much cut off from civilization during this time of year.
Still, the world has a way of intruding on their idyllic winter setting. When J.W.'s old Vietnam buddy and Vineyard fishing companion, Joe Begay, asks to be met on Cape Cod and virtually smuggled back to the island, J.W. knows something's not right. Joe wouldn't be sneaking around and asking J.W. to do him odd favors if trouble weren't brewing. J.W. also knows that Begay wasn't merely a soldier, but he has also performed highly secretive work for the government ever since Vietnam.
Soon, the facts begin to emerge: A few years ago, Begay and five fellow agents were caught in the chaos of a bloody mission. Today, only two of the five remain. The others have died unexpectedly, and a killer known as the Easter Bunny may now be on his way to the island to take out Joe Begay.
Enter the seductive and highly dangerous Kate MacLeod, the fifth member of Begay's secret government team. Why has Kate suddenly appeared on the Vineyard? Is she there to warn Begay, or could she be there to kill him? Even though Begay claims to trust her, J.W. is sticking close to Kate's side to make sure his friend is not being double-crossed.
J.W. has always admired and respected Begay, and would do anything to help him out -- but he can't let Zee and the kids become targets in this cat-and-mouse game. Can J.W. divert the Bunny's attention long enough for Begay to take him out? And can he keep his family out of harm's way?
Set in December during scallop season, Craig's cleverly plotted 16th Martha's Vineyard mystery to feature flip, fast-talking retired Boston cop J.W. Jackson (after 2004's Vineyard Mansion) opens with the arrival on the island of government agent Joe Begay, an old buddy from Vietnam days seeking J.W.'s unofficial help to track down a killer. As Joe later explains when the pair secretly rendezvous on the Cape, three out of five agents involved in an undercover mission have died mysteriously in the past year. Joe and the other surviving member of the team suspect a terrorist known as the Easter Bunny is after them and may be on the Vineyard. The FBI and other intelligence agencies soon invade the island, whose locals and off-season life Craig depicts with his usual humor and affection. Spies, bombs, gun fights and a high-speed car chase keep the action moving.