Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: SUNSHINE HIGHWAY by Ruth Francisco

4 of 5 stars

Sheriff Bill Crocker, school teacher Summer Dayes and newspaper reporter, Clive Parker--3 people whose lives are inexplicably intertwined in a tale of greed, lust, betrayal and the quest for the truth no matter where it leads.  

In this Florida panhandle town, Bill Crocker rules like a dictator and thinks of himself as a southern "Tony Soprano" where sometimes you do good things and sometimes you don't. All is going smoothly for the sheriff until a seemingly innocent fender bender becomes the catalyst for the spiral descent of his power. Crocker was drunk when he hit the car and without thinking, he leaves the scene of the accident. When the whole incident is covered up, it piques the interest of reporter Clive Parker. Clive doesn't like people who think they are above the law. The more he researches the dealings of the sheriff, the more he uncovers mistresses, illegal land holdings, embezzlement of funds and corruption at its worst.

Ms. Francisco does an excellent job of pulling you into the story from the opening pages when a school girl discovers a body. Who is it and what happened? The story is well-developed and I found her characters realistic, especially Bill Crocker. Just when you thought you had everything figured out, the author reveals another piece of the puzzle.  Just how far will Sheriff Bill Crocker fall? If you like a good mystery, definitely 1-click SUNSHINE HIGHWAY.

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