Moriah Dru, owner of Child Trace, and her lover, Richard Lake, an
Atlanta police lieutenant, have been invited to Lake Lanier in the mountains of North Georgia for
the scorcher of a 4th of July holiday. There, Dru discovers
the stern of a boat protruding from the waters in a cove. It’s the sailboat Scuppernong,
missing nearly four years and uncovered by lake evaporation.
Two couples – Johnny and Candice Browne and Laurant
and Janet Cocineau – were on the boat the day they and the sailboat
disappeared – partying, drinking, getting thrown out of a marina restaurant.
Johnny’s body was discovered in the water with his head bashed in. The other three have never
been found; gone without a trace. There are theories. From Candice and Laurant skipping to Rio to they’re all in
a trunk at the bottom of the lake. Once the sailboat has been examined and no bodies found in it,
a cadaver dog is brought to the scene. The body she discovers is not one of the boaters, but a woman
from Yarrow (fictitious) a small Georgia mountain town on the lake.
Candice’s daughter, Evangeline,
wants to hire Dru to find her mother. Evangeline is a thirteen-year-old prodigy
who Dru has dubbed Princess Pita – pain in the ass. Portia Devon the juvenile judge
prevails upon Dru to take the case. Since she first discovered the sailboat and since Portia is
her childhood friend, Dru agrees to work for a child to find an adult,
instead of the reverse. The fee is enormous to discourage Evangeline and
her uncle, but they’re very wealthy. Dru goes to work, aided by Lake and Webdog