High Water by Lynn Hightower
A Novel

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A suspenseful and chilling tale of a family undone by a mother's mysterious death and a father's startling secrets.

Beaufort, South Carolina, is home to the Smallwoods, a family that appears close-knit but is in fact deeply at odds. The youngest sibling, Georgie, is consumed with anger at her father, Fielding, an unforgiving ex-marine, whose involvement in a notorious scandal many years earlier cast a shadow over his career and the Smallwood name. A fierce patriarch, Fielding neglects Georgie's mother; belittles her brother, Ashby; and denies her sister, Claire, the financial support she needs after a trying divorce. When her mother dies suddenly and of mysterious causes, Georgie immediately suspects that her father was somehow involved.

As she works to convince Ashby and Claire of her suspicions, however, their father is murdered, and Claire is implicated in his death. Georgie desperately attempts to piece together both her family and her personal life, but the evidence of their father's betrayal and the secrets of his past threaten to leave the Smallwood family in ruin.

As affecting as it is suspenseful, High Water infuses a harrowing mystery with an intensely personal study of the delicate, complex bonds that define a family. Lynn Hightower's most successful book yet, High Water, packs a powerful combination of intrigue and insight.

About Lynn Hightower

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Lynn Hightower is the author of six previous novels, including Satan's Lambs, which won the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel. She studied creative writing with Wendell Berry at the University of Kentucky and holds a degree in journalism. She lives in Tennessee.
Published January 1, 2002 by Hodder & Stoughton. 336 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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But it’s not until the miraculous return the same day of her son Hank, who ran away two years ago, that Georgie realizes just how badly her life has been blighted by her father—who, having demanded that Hank stay away when he phoned home shortly after going AWOL, now responds to Georgie’s accusat...

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Publishers Weekly

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Lurking in the family's history is the Hardigree Incident (mirroring the real-life Ribbon Creek Incident), a 1956 scandal involving the forced night-march of a platoon of Parris Island, S.C., Marine recruits which resulted in the deaths of seven men.

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Book Reporter

In a departure from her Sonora Blair books, author Lynn Hightower pens the beautiful but tragic story of Georgie Smallwood, a Southern unwed mother in her early 30s.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of High Water: A Novel

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