In the deep waters off the coast of Beaufort, South Carolina, corpses are turning up faster than dolphins chasing a shrimp boat . . .
When federal agricultural investigator Carolina Slade’s best friend is suspected of embezzlement and fraud in a sordid case involving drugs and migrant slavery, Slade must question her own long-held loyalties. She’s desperate to believe in Savannah Conroy's innocence despite every scrap of evidence pointing to her friend’s guilt.
After a tomato farmer dies in a shrimp boat explosion, Slade’s colleague, Senior Special Agent Wayne Largo, manages to force Slade off the case, citing conflict of interest. Refusing to quit even if it means violating agency orders, Slade fights to save her friend’s career. Soon, Slade’s the target of escalating threats meant to frighten her off the case.
But threats might be the least of Slade’s worries. She’s also juggling a co-worker’s sudden romantic interest, voodoo, and her teenage daughter’s determination to solve mysteries like her mother. Slade struggles to keep her life, and the lives of those around her, safe and sane when, once again, digging up dirt on the ag business threatens to put her six feet under.
Hot Southern Murder Mystery
I just read this book while on vacation on the South Carolina coast, and could relate to the setting, mood, and temperature of the place and the assorted characters as they get embroiled in a case that starts out as simple accounting mismanagement, and takes several turns into murder and even less savory things. I think what stood out the most to me, a guy who doesn't often read mystery, is that the story took several unexpected turns that deepened the complexity of main character and her world. There is a lot within these pages about doing one's duty, family, romance, friendship, humanity, and even a bit about tomatoes and haunted spirits.