The flora and fauna of southwestern Florida provide the exotic backdrop for a slew of unpleasant crimes.
Four years ago, attractive, troubled Martha Roberts’s gentle, mentally challenged brother disappeared without a trace. Now that his body has been found in a car hauled out of a canal, a handgun on the floor and a bullet in the head, she wants PI Harry Brock (Now Comes Death, 2005, etc.) to find out who killed him. Police officers, including the victim’s brother, write his death off as a suicide, and most of his relatives oppose an investigation. When Harry delves into the family’s relationships, he finds that only two siblings escaped the influence of their father, a twisted, abusive Bible thumper now suffering from Alzheimer’s. Harry has his own domestic problems. Recently divorced from his second wife, he’s estranged from his children and involved in a complicated relationship. Aiding the fragile Martha adds to his angst. Another of Martha’s brothers works for a large sand and gravel company that’s about to destroy a rare colony of butterflies recently discovered by Harry’s neighbor Tucker LaBeau. The attempt to thwart this destruction, coupled with Harry’s sleuthing, leads to a number of near-fatal attacks. But Harry refuses to back off, and his search for the truth sets off a major investigation by the DA.
A rousing story with a satisfyingly complex hero.