When young college graduate Timothy Cross is found murdered in an alligator pond, Florida private eye Tony Lowell and his friend, police detective Lena Bedrosian, search for a cold-blooded killer.
E. C. Ayres's first mystery, Hour of the Manatee, won the PWA/St. Martin's Press Best First Private Eye Novel Contest. Published to great acclaim, it introduced laid-back photographer /PI Tony Lowell and his friend and occasional adversary, by-the-book police detective Lena Bedrosian. In Ayres's sophomore effort, serious short-staffing prompts Bedrosian to enlist Lowell's help on a murder case.Lowell doesn't hesitate to join the fray, for the victim was the nephew of Ernie Larson, one of Lowell's oldest friends. A recent college graduate and environmental activist working for the government, Timothy Cross was found in an alligator pond with a bullet in his head.As Lowell begins investigating, his array of suspects includes a baseball fanatic, a single mother, and her dangerously violent boyfriend. Soon he finds himself pitted against powerful industry types, as well as black advocacy groups concerned about jobs and backwoods racists who resent meddlers. The stakes are raised even further, however, when he discovers that the very safety of Florida's diminishing water supply is at stake. Lowell is determined to find the killer, but he's got to save his own skin while he's at it.