In this mystery, the second in a series, curiosity about an old flame leads interim Sheriff Conor Gifford to accept an invitation to participate in a Richmond conference which in turn ensnares him in a dubious investigation at the behest of a lame duck governor. Avaricious speculators, ambitious politicians, conniving bureaucrats and a mysterious internal affairs investigator independently contrive self-serving schemes that merge in a maze of conflicting chaos. Gifford, intent on avoiding the political morass, diligently pursues the killer of a seemingly innocent low-level civil servant and his wife. At stake are high rewards. Competing groups of speculators armed with deliberately planted misinformation anticipate the route of a five billion-dollar bypass, bribe the politicians and hire a conniving local realtor to front for them. Gifford, distracted by the governor's investigator, an old girl friend, now the Commonwealth's Deputy Attorney General, and the ubiquitous realtor, fights jurisdictional challenges and intense political pressure as he works his way through the multi-faceted conundrum with a single-minded determination to identify the killer. Just as he approaches the threshold of success, nature in the form of a devastating snowstorm and a terrorist Red Alert issued by the Department of Homeland Security complicate Gifford's final steps.
Robert L Skidmore is the author of fifteen novels.
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About the Author
A graduate of Potomac State College, West Virginia University and a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin where he worked on his doctorate in American History, Robert L Skidmore spent thirty-five years in the foreign service of the United States whose assignments took him to tours in Iran, Greece, New Zealand, Laos, Malaysia, and Portugal. Now, long retired, Mr. Skidmore indulges in two lifelong passions, researching history and writing, both of which enable him to play with his computers and avoid travel at all cost.