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Synopsis

Barry Clayton has a job he doesn’t want. When his father became stricken with Alzheimer’s, Barry left the Charlotte police force for the small mountain community of Gainesboro, North Carolina, where his family runs the local funeral home. “Buryin’ Barry” reluctantly assumed the mantle of town undertaker, trying to fit his life into this somber profession. Almost at once it turns deadly. At the graveside service for an elderly woman, a grieving grandson strides in clad like Clint Eastwood in a duster, rips out a shotgun, and murders his family. Then the shooter turns the weapon on Barry. “Take a message to my grandmother,” Dallas Willard shouts. “Tell her they tried to take the land. Tell her I love her.” The blast hits Barry in the shoulder. Barry is not cut from the same black cloth as his father, and his irreverent wit and independence have already won him the friendship of the county sheriff, one-eyed war hero Tommy Lee Wadkins. Besides, Barry’s a police pro. Trusting his wounds to the hands of local surgeon Susan Miller, Barry begins a search for both the killer and the reason for his crime. It isn’t long before a second shooting occurs—but when Dallas Willard’s body is discovered at the bottom of a quarry pond, it becomes clear that Gainesboro is caught in the grip of something more than a deadly family quarrel....

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