An ex-cop and her ex-partner reunite to solve a complex crime.
Moriah Dru left the Atlanta Police Department to run Child Trace, an agency specializing in missing children. Her former partner and current lover, Richard Lake, still investigates homicides on the Atlanta force. While visiting their friend, tough, irascible judge Portia Devon, Dru spots the remains of the Scuppernong, a sailboat that vanished almost four years ago along with the four people on board. A drought has lowered the lake level enough to allow Dru to see the boat, whose mysterious disappearance sparked a major investigation and tabloid headlines. Evangeline Broussard, an intelligent but annoying 13-year-old, hires Dru to find her mother, Candice Browne, one of the people who vanished with the Scuppernong. Since no bodies can be found aboard the craft, Dru and Richard head for the small Georgia mountain community where it was last seen. At a diner there, Dru meets a very young girl whose mother has also vanished. All too soon, the police find the mother’s body in the lake. The Browne and Cocineau families who were partying on the sailboat when it disappeared had been at odds over a vineyard in Cape Fear, N.C. When Dru follows the trail there, her visit leads to another death and uncovers money laundering and other criminal doings. When all is said and done, however, it is the closemouthed, closely knit mountain community that holds the answers.
Dru’s third (The Last Temptation, 2012, etc.) provides plenty of quirky characters and surprising revelations but leaves a few loose ends.