Fear Death by Water
Five Star, Oct 2008, $25.95
As the president of the Stoneman Douglas Alliance whose goal is to save the Okalatchee River from becoming a dead zone, Colleen McGraw expected some threats; however the emails and letters are increasing and turning nastier and now rattlesnakes have been dumped in her mailbox. She asks private investigator Harry Brock to find out who is trying to stop her campaign.
When the murdered body of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission senior ichthyologist Joyce Fields is found in the river, the Tequita County Sheriff’s Department, which has done nothing re Colleen’s complaints, must investigate the homicide. Joyce was making a case that the river is nearly dead having been polluted by chemical and fertilizer runoff. Harry finds several groups including locals doing everything to bury the toxic information. He also has personal issues as his estranged pregnant daughter Sarah comes to see him for the first time in years and he is attracted to a member of the Alliance; both of his women in danger.
The story line is excellent with the prime focus being development and property rights vs. environment and conservation. Adding to the overall fun are Harry’s neighbors Tucker, Oh Brother and Sanchez as they enchant Sarah and the readers. Fans will enjoy his Southwest Florida thriller and seek Brock’s previous cases (see NOW COMES DEATH and TWO IN THE CHURCHYARD LIE).