In this the third novel in the Webb Sawyer mystery series, Webb’s son Preston has moved from the Outer Banks to New Zealand, but Preston’s ex-girlfriend, Sunshine Bledsoe, still keeps in touch with Webb. Sunshine is aptly named–she’s a pretty, cheerful young woman whose sunny nature belies her difficult family life. When Sunshine’s parents divorced, her dad moved to Richmond, but her mother, a recovering drug addict, remained in the area. Isabeau and Sunshine’s relationship is a reverse of the traditional mother-daughter one: it is Sunshine who checks in on Isabeau, a waitress with a tenuous hold on financial and emotional stability.
As this novel opens, Sunshine is convinced that her mother is in trouble. Isabeau’s employer, restaurant owner Amy Overton, has a note from Isabeau saying that she’s taking a few weeks off for a vacation, but Sunshine doesn’t think her mom had the money for a trip. Initially, Webb is not inclined to take Isabeau’s disappearance very seriously. Webb is more interested in working on his off-again, on-again relationship with pub owner Nan Ftorek, which is now back on. Still, Sunshine is someone he is fond of and when he learns that another of Ms. Overton’s employees is also missing, his investigation kicks into high gear. Webb follows a twisted trail that involves a shady minister, a local developer with a past, and a sadistic cop. The body count gets high before Webb and the local sheriff bring the bad guys and their enablers to justice.
Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.