On an Ozark summer night, three drunk teenagers drive away from an isolated rural graveyard in an abandoned Mercedes. They’ve found the care while looking for car keys lost in the brush. The inevitable police stop reveals blood in the car—a lot of blood. The car belongs to Shara McGregor, Blue Creek’s “golden girl” whose face adorns the billboard touting the advantages of the local community college.
When Richard Carter digs into Shara’s background, he and the financially strapped Hawthorn County Sheriff’s Department are “aided” by a friend of the girl’s mother, former State Senator Willis Sparkes. The old pol uses his influence and money to aid the county in his pursuit of justice—but is that the only reason that he wants to stay close to the investigation?
As he digs into the case, Richard becomes enthralled with the girl he has never met, seeing in the brilliant Shara McGregor what his own daughter may become. He is not the only one to be enthralled by Shara. A broken-hearted high school sweetheart, a clumsy would-be suitor, a nephew of the sheriff, an over-the-hill redneck, the manager at the minimart where she worked, and who knows how many classmates all wanted to get closer to her.
This is a tale of lust, blackmail, murder, and ultimate revenge.
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