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Rice makes a solid return visit to the Hubbard's Point, Conn., setting of Beach Girls(2004). As the book opens, a year soaked in Wild Turkey has passed since singer/songwriter Sheridan Rosslare lost her son, Charlie, in a random New York mugging. While Sheridan drowns her sorrows, Charlie's girlfriend, Nell Kilvert, is more assiduous; she hires private investigator Gavin Dawson to prove there was nothing random about Charlie's death. For his part, Hubbard's Point native Gavin, a New York transplant, had pretty much written off Hubbard's Point after Sheridan, once the love of his life, dumped him for his wild and reckless ways years before. Now, older and wiser, he's still in love with Sheridan and wants to start over, but Sheridan's grief soon proves a formidable obstacle. An element of supernatural whimsy, a dark secret involving a trust fund and a disturbing question related to Charlie's estranged father, Randy, add complexity, while cameos from other Beach Girls characters contribute an engaging, homey touch. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.