The quiet beauty of Longboat Key is shattered when a young groom is shot to death on the beach the day after his wedding. His father is an old army buddy of Matt Royal, and Matt tries to soften the anguish of his friend by finding his son's murderer. Matt's search takes on added complexity when there appears to be a link between this murder and three seemingly unrelated murders that occurred on board a dinner cruise on Sarasota Bay the same day. Fortunately for Matt, his old buddies, Logan Hamilton and Jock Algren, show up to cover his back and to help investigate. But this case rekindles haunting events of Matt's past and incites a web of doubt, deception, and even suspicion, among the closest of friends. When Longboat Key detective, Jennifer Diane (J.B.) Duncan joins the investigation, Matt loses a little focus as he drifts toward more than just a professional relationship. But this distraction could cost lives when they encounter a shady and very dangerous cabal .
Griffin's sixth mystery featuring Florida lawyer Matt Royal (after 2010's Bitter Legacy) draws the reader in instantly by making clear that newlywed Jim Desmond, who's staying with his bride at the Hilton in Longboat Key, isn't long for this world. Sure enough, a sniper shoots Desmond while the honeymooner is jogging on the beach, the first in a series of mysterious killings. Desmond's father, Charles, an old Vietnam War buddy of Royal's, asks Royal to investigate his son's murder. The older Desmond aims to turn up some leads by filing a civil suit, though without a defendant, the strategy appears doomed from the outset. Royal tries to use his close, and increasingly closer, relationship with Longboat Key's lone (female) police detective, J.D. Duncan, to advance the probe. While the ending pulls some punches, the relatively sophisticated plotting makes this one of the better series entries.