by David Burnsworth
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432828004
Date: 19 February 2014 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Brack Pelton, on his way to a dinner with his uncle, hears gunshots from an alley and rushes to investigate. He discovers his uncle shot and the attacker in flight. He contacts 9-1-1 and tries to keep his uncle alive. Just before he dies, he tells Brack, "Ray...Ray shot me." Determined to find the killer, Brack uncovers more than he anticipated and places his own life at risk.
Set in Charleston, South Carolina, the novel reflects both the southern charm and the seedy south. A young reporter and her employer, his uncle's ex, team up with Brack to solve the murder and protect the wetlands from a greedy developer. He resembles a lot of the current special ops ex-military men used in mysteries and action thrillers who hold their own against all comers. Brack forms a number of useful but unlikely alliances with the rich, the poor, and his uncle's war buddies.
He soon discovers his uncle's estate in a mixed bag of assets and debt. A developer offers him a large sum for his uncle's land. His uncle bought the land to preserve the wetlands. Brack also inherits his uncle's pride and joy, a disreputable bar the local council wants to buy so they can tear it down.
Burnsworth keeps the action going in his debut mystery and his hero in jeopardy. Astute readers will identify the killer, but most will have to wait for the action climax.