St. Martin's Minotaur
Hardcover, Softcover, E-Book
October 13, 2005
A chance to be a part of a headline-grabbing case against a drug company has lured attorney Avery Andrews back to Charleston, South Carolina. She agrees to meet with Mark Tilman, a young doctor from her home town who seems to have something on his mind. When he doesn't show, she figures he stood her up and takes comfort in the stilt restaurant's she-crab soup. But it turns out he had a fatal car accident. Something about the crash isn't right, and Mark's father asks Avery to look into his death. Between that and digging up dirt on the wonder drug Uplift, Avery is coming up with more questions than answers.
Of course, Avery isn't the only one making headlines. Back in Dacus, her mom is on live television confronting a teenager's dynamite-toting paramour in a hostage crisis at the Burger Hut, Great-Aunt Aletha is mixing it up with the now-toupee-less postman, and the son of a ghost wants vengeance. In short, it's life as usual back in Dacus, while in Charleston, Avery is forced to face demons from her own past…
"Pickens, a lawyer and teacher with deep roots in the Carolinas, balances the dark and light aspects of the subgenre adeptly, and almost always manages to avoid corn and sentimentality."
"[A] richly atmospheric second novel...finely crafted."