Putnam, Oct 2002, 25.95, 304 pp.
It has been almost a year since Jackson died and Holly has buried herself in work trying to block out the pain. The Chief of Police of Orchid Beach, a coastal town on the East Coast of Florida, is usually very quiet. However, when Holly and her father visit a new friend Ed Shine, a sniper fires a shot that almost kills him. Ed is a property developer who bid on a piece of land in Orchid Beach that the federal government is selling and the two other bidders on the property are also assassinated.
Holly immediately connects the dots and sees a link since the property in question was used in drug smuggling. She contacts the FBI and an agent tells her that he is sending an undercover operative into the area on a completely separate assignment. The agent and Holly hit it off but Holly is too busy dodging bullets to give their relationship a chance to grow.
Stuart Woods famous for his Stone Barrington private eye novels has created a whole new series with it's own unique voice. The Holly Barker police procedurals are fun to read because the author imbues a subtle sense of humor in many of the characters. The heroine really doesn't know why she keeps getting shot at yet she still manages to produce a credible investigation. Mr. Woods just keeps getting better with each book he writes.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner