Ah. The good ole summertime! Freedom! No coats, hats, boots, gloves, slippery roads. . . . Well, you get the idea.
Summer is the time when most people take their annual vacation. In my opinion, getting away from it all is crucial to a person’s mental health. Every day through the year each of us deals with a multitude of “challenges” and we need a break from all of that sometimes. Whether you prefer the mountains, the desert, the beach or another location, a change of scenery and daily routine is healthy.
For many years, I've looked forward to a vacation and, most years, my traveling companion and good friend, Jan, and I have gone to the ocean. Jan’s husband goes on golf trips with his buddies and Jan and I normally plan a “girls’ getaway.” But, this year for several reasons, it doesn't look like that will happen. We may manage a mini-vacation late in the summer but that's still up in the air.
So, what’s the next best thing to physically getting away? Escape into a book! Let it take you places you’ve never been and, as you get involved in the lives of the characters, your own problems will disappear – at least until you reach the last page. Then, all you have to do is start reading another book and your "vacation" will be extended!
Early the next morning, you go for a walk on that same beach and discover the body of a young woman in the sand. Once again, it takes your breath away.
Ann feels like she’s in Paradise as she digs her toes into the soft, white sand and gazes out at the ocean. She’s looked forward to this trip to South Carolina for a long time and all she wants to do is bask in the sun, resting and relaxing.
She and her two young children are enjoying their time on Fripp Island with Ann’s sister, Marnie, and Marnie’s elderly friend and former neighbor, Clara Brunner, a longtime resident with a vast knowledge of the island and the people who live there. At the Fourth of July fireworks, Clara introduces them to newlyweds Jenny and Mark Hall and their families.
But Ann’s plans for a peaceful vacation are shattered the next morning. When she goes for a solitary walk on the beach, she discovers the body of a young woman with the chain of a gold locket twisted around her neck and she immediately recognizes the locket as the one Jenny Hall was wearing the night before.
But things aren’t always what they appear to be.
Shocked and saddened, Ann is determined to try to find the killer and to see them brought to justice. She convinces Marnie and Clara to join her in conducting an investigation but, in the process, she places her own life in jeopardy.
Happy Fourth of July!