The Edisto Police Department has its share of personalities, the clash of which elicits emotions ranging from humor to outrage. The Department even has their first ever female Chief of Police, Callie Jean Morgan. She’s new to the Department, but not so new to the area where she grew up. She was known in Edisto; at least, her family was known. It may be a small, beach-front community, but the political undercurrents run deep and Callie comes with a lot of history – family history as well as career history. It all makes for an interesting, indeed intriguing plot to unravel. And then one of her own dies while on duty! Was it an accident? Or, was it murder? And who, really, was the intended target? The death of a police officer from her Department, so soon after her taking on the post as Police Chief, does nothing for Callie’s opponents. It only intensifies the chaos as the powers that be in Edisto set to destroy her career. Add to the mix, an annoying reporter who seems to be everywhere Callie turns.
It’s hard to imagine such a quiet, peaceful beach community as a setting for so much intrigue, murder and mayhem. Author, C. Hope Clark, is the master of mystery and suspense. In a previous life, the author was a federal administrative investigator and her obvious talent in creating a compelling mystery and solving the crime is evident in her writing. Her complex plots, interspersed with obscure and sometimes intricately convoluted red herrings, make her stories on par with some of the best mystery writers, particularly Agatha Christie.
Clark’s main character, Callie, is the ideal of the persistent investigator herself. She sparkles with energy, compassion and a compelling sense of what’s right and wrong. Added to her complex nature, the tragedies of her past that continue to haunt her, Callie’s complicated family situation deepens her character. After all, one can’t hold a position of power, even as the police chief, without having to face a number of controversial adversaries.
This mystery is full of plots within plots that are all interconnected. Complicated by twists and turns that make the reader believe the mystery to be unsolvable, the story does reach an unsettling resolution, but a resolution nonetheless. For, what would a life in law enforcement be without the tragedies that scar the process?
A powerful and exciting mystery on many levels. Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford, award-winning author of “To Be a Duke” and “Gerlinda”.