The reader is introduced to Mac McDermott as he is contemplating suicide. Although he once led a happy, successful life, Mac’s nasty divorce from his vindictive second wife, Martha, his estrangement from his son and two stepsons, and the loss of his high-paying job has led to a deep depression. The mounting bills and his dependence on alcohol have not helped his situation, and he concludes that a boating accident is his best way “out.” While at sea, Mac is mysteriously saved by the spirit of his stepfather, who encourages Mac to abandon his plans. That night, Mac wins the lottery. The $40 million prize takes care of his money problems, and he finds a new lease on life, which includes trying to make peace with his former wives.
Things are going well for Mac and his girlfriend, Loretta, until Martha is found dead in her swimming pool the day after Mac’s visit. He is immediately suspected of her murder, and after a quick trial, the jury finds him guilty. Z, the private investigator Mac enlisted before and during the trial, will not rest after Mac is put on death row, and he continues searching for clues. Z reaches the conclusion that Martha faked her death to collect her life insurance money and that she had no problem incriminating Mac in her scheme. Her plan almost works, but Z finds justice for Mac, and he is once again able to find contentment.
The Paths of Glory is Edward Vaughn’s fourth novel in his “Cumberland County Series.”
Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.