Haddley Falls, a sleepy, bucolic New England town, relies on tourism for its economic survival. But then the unthinkable happens: A man and a woman are brutally murdered on a sailboat anchored in the town's cove. Understandably, these murders throw the resort town into chaos, but no one has more at stake than the town's three movers and shakers. Jonathan Talbot, a wealthy industrialist, is a nominee for the position of Secretary of the Commerce and can't afford a hint of scandal. Whittier Sanborne III, a wealthy and reclusive man, has dark family secrets that he must keep. And finally there is Royce Gardner, the Mayor of Haddley Falls, who also has skeletons that could destroy his family's reputation.
For these reasons, the three agree that they can't afford to have the state police meddling in their affairs. They need someone they can control-someone like their police chief.
Tony Brunetta, a retired NYPD homicide detective lieutenant who accepted the job of police chief of Haddley Falls precisely to get away from big city violence, is dismayed to find that he is suddenly tasked with finding the murderer. To make matter worse, his old partner, Pete Delaney, a burned out, suicidal NYPD detective arrives to spend his "last weekend" with his friend, mentor and old boss.
Events quickly spiral out of control. Against his will, Pete Delaney is sucked into the vortex of an ever-widening investigation. With the help of two inexperienced deputies-JT Bryce, a beautiful and intelligent woman, and and Clint Avery, a well meaning bumbler, Delaney slowly peels away the protective layers of the town until it becomes clear that Haddley Falls is not the sleepy town is pretends to be.
This fast paced novel of murder, mendacity, hubris, and ultimately redemption will appeal to readers who love police thrillers and enjoy watching a big city detective attempt to solve a double-homicide without the support of a major police department.
- Michael Grant, May 2011
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