Terrell H. Griffin
Oceanview, Dec 2008, $24.95
2817 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 327203
In Longboat Key, Florida retired lawyer Matt Royal does pro bono only with his prime stipulations being shorts and no tie. Matt is taken aback when his ex-wife, Laura arrives at the Key pleading with him to help her. Her stepdaughter Peggy went to Sarasota on spring break, but she never came back; instead she just vanished last seen in Longboat Key.
Matt agrees to investigate her disappearance. He follows several leads only to have Laura vanish too. Since her trail is fresher, Matt begins to track Laura, which leads him the Heaven Can’t Wait Spa in Key West. From there he begins to find a connection to lunatic Reverend Robert William Simmermon who holds religious court on nearby BLOOD ISLAND. This is a place Matt knows he will not just be unwelcome; he will be shark food.
This fast-paced Florida Keys mystery is filled with suspense and a great hero whose sardonic (including self flagellation) humor, makes for an entertaining suspenseful tale and has him fit in the zany Sunshine State investigators’ pantheon. Matt is terrific as he hops the Keys but with each leap he gets into deeper trouble. Fans will relish his third retirement escapade (see LONGBOAT BLUES and MURDER KEY; neither read by me) as nothing seems to go right.