Having visited Edisto Island since a teenager, I learned as well as any Lowcountry beachcomber that Edisto defines calm, peace, and seclusion. The only remaining beach in South Carolina with a timeless, laid-back serenity that only comes from a lack of neon, absence of motels, control of commercialism, and the banning of lights after dark to save the loggerhead turtles. A fifties feel that can take those chronic adrenaline spikes from a too-fast, over-committed world and melt them into the warm waters of St. Helena Sound. . . a vacation that could easily become habit that many year-round residents can attest to.
To the average person, Edisto’s the last place murder could happen. To a mystery author, it’s the perfect setting for suspense.
Callie Jean Morgan is police chief of Edisto Beach after an acclaimed history as a Boston detective, and her subsequent self-destruction after the Russian mob kills her husband. Retreating to South Carolina and the family beach house, she vows never to step behind a badge again, taking up beach-walking and a gin-and-tonic hobby. However, fate plays a pivotal role in the players and mysteries that cross her path on an island that doesn’t believe crime can happen to them. But she instinctively sees it, finds it, or rather it finds her. She’s enticed back into the game. A constant cat-and-mouse game by a woman intent on keeping her island safe, and her people, both natives and tourists, contentedly ignorant to the darker side of humanity.
The Edisto Island Mysteries have become a household name in the region by taking this jungle paradise and infusing danger. Not the kind expected from undertows, hurricanes, gators, and snakes, but more of the human kind. The unexpected and least predictable kind. The people who’d take advantage, who’d watch for opportunity, who’d kill and use Edisto as a hiding ground.
Book three in the Edisto Island Mysteries, Echoes of Edisto, took a penetrating toll on Callie. Having lost a child and husband in her distant past, she never expected to lose even more in this story. So in Edisto Stranger, book four, she’s lost, deeply hurt, struggling to keep her attention focused on a job she wasn’t sure she wanted, and, of course, suddenly faced with a body in the marsh on the outskirts of the marina. The floater is identified as a retired FBI agent intent on solving the one cold-case of his career he’d never mastered. A cold case that leads Callie 17 years into the past and couples her with the dead man’s protégé, another FBI agent, with something to prove. . . or something to hide. And he smells her weaknesses.
Welcome to the world of C. Hope Clark’s novels. Some call them perfect beach reads. Others find them fast-paced with an endless supply of hooks to make one turn the page. But those who’ve ever visited Edisto, even once, find these books filled with the sights, smells, and sounds of a beloved getaway, enticing them to draw upon personal memories of the sea island. . . only enhanced and heightened with the challenge of a mystery laced with unexpected danger. Danger on an island where bad never happens.
Book trailer: https://youtu.be/ZeoRVy4oYS4