A killer wants to make certain she buys the farm.
Threats, a missing boss, a very dead co-worker, a high-level investigation, and a sinister hog farmer: Lowcountry Ag Department manager Carolina Slade is a bean-counting civil servant in hot water.
Carolina Slade is a by-the-book county manager for the Department of Agriculture - a civil servant who coordinates federal loans for farmers in the coastal lowcountry of South Carolina. When one of her clients, a hog farmer named Jessie Rawlings, offers her a bribe, Slade reports Jessie to her superiors. The next thing she knows, she's besieged by Resident Agent-In-Charge Wayne Largo from the Feds' IG Office in Atlanta. He and his partner have come to investigate Slade's accusations, and if possible catch Jessie in the act of handing over money.
However, the IG isn't telling Slade everything. The agents are also investigating the disappearance of Slade's boss the year before in connection to possible land fraud. And when the sting on Jessie goes bad, the case is put on hold and Wayne is called back to Atlanta, leaving Slade to fear not only for her life and job, but for her childrens' safety.
Author C. Hope Clark, the granddaughter of a Mississippi cotton farmer, holds a BS in Agriculture from Clemson University and has 25 years' experience with the US Department of Agriculture. Now an award-winning writer, she manages FundsforWriters.com, a weekly newsletter service she founded that reaches almost 50,000 writers including university professors, professional journalists, and published mystery authors. Writer's Digest has recognized the site in its annual 101 Best Web Sites for Writers for a dozen years. Hope is married to a 30-year veteran of federal law enforcement, a Senior Special Agent, now a private investigator. They live in South Carolina, on the banks of Lake Murray. Hope is hard at work on the next novel in her Carolina Slade Mystery Series. Visit her at www.chopeclark.com.
©2012 C. Hope Clark (P)2012 Bell Bridge Books
I enjoyed this one as much for its setting in the low country of South Carolina as for the story and characters, which were both a little different and quirky - just my kind of read. Who would have thought there was a story in a country bumpkin (!), a government mortgage lender and an Inspector General's investigator? Hope to see more of these characters as their relationship develops (or not).
BUT, what could have been a pretty good story, was marred by whining, and once again a protagonist that starts off competent etc, and then dissolves into a victim.
I don't know if the author had intended for her protagonist to be such a whiner, but the narrator certainly portrayed her as such.
Unless you can stand a whiny victim, don't bother with this book.
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