While out for a gallop on his prize stallion, wealthy Brandon Pike is decapitated by a tightly strung wire across his bridle path. Suspicion for his murder immediately falls on Holly Pike, Brandon’s beautiful, younger wife, and Tyce Yellen, the manager of Pike’s stables in Avola, Florida. Enter private detective Harry Brock, called in by Holly to keep her safe from the police and continuing violence at The Oaks, her husband’s estate.
The dead man’s complex relationship with Holly, Harry soon discovers, is made more perplexing by his relationship with Clarissa Cruz, who holds the lease on Oleander Farm, an adjoining estate owned by Pike. Harry learns that Oleander Farm was built for Clarissa’s mother, Alejandra, a servant in Pike’s father’s household. Pike may or may not have intended to renew the lease, which is about to expire.
His death leaves the matter in Holly’s hands, and because of her strained relations with Clarissa, intensifies police interest in her. Before Harry makes much progress in attempting to untangle the web of relationships among the people at The Oaks and Oleander Farm, a series of animal mutilations and poisonings, culminating in the burning of a stable, forces him to take his investigation in a new direction.
Harry’s efforts are hampered by the arrival of his ex-wife Katherine, who comes to stay with him during an unsettling illness, a development that awakens old passions and reopens old wounds.
To complicate matters further, her arrival seriously damages Harry’s relationship with Soñadora Asturias, a woman he hopes to marry. While pursuing the person who attacked the animals and burned the barn, Harry penetrates a darker aspect of Tyce Yellen’s relationship with Oleander Farm, exposing himself to further danger. In his pursuit of the killer, he and Katherine are attacked and narrowly escape death. Distracted by the disintegration of his relationship with both Katherine and Soñadora, Harry carelessly exposes himself to death in a denouement filled with suspense, surprise, and deadly violence.
About Kinley Roby
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Published October 21, 2011
by Five Star Publishing.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction.