The Branson Beauty, an old showboat, has crashed in the waters of an Ozark mountain lake just outside the popular tourist destination of Branson, Missouri. More than one hundred people are trapped aboard. Hank Worth is still settling into his new role as county sheriff, and when he responds to the emergency call, he knows he's in for a long winter's day of helping elderly people into rafts and bringing them ashore. He anticipates a lot of anxiety, many arguments, and extra costs for emergency equipment that will stretch the county's already thin budget to the breaking point. But those are the least of his worries after he discovers high school track star Mandy Bryson's body locked inside the Captain's private dining room.
In her captivating debut novel, Claire Booth has created a broad cast of wonderfully compelling characters, and writes with a style that perfectly blends humor with the emotional drama and heartache of a murder investigation.
Available now from Minotaur Books.
The laws of neither God nor man would stop him . . .
Raised as a devout Mormon, Taylor Helzer was known as a dynamic, strong-willed young man whose dedication to his people and his faith was a shining example to all. But that inspirational devotion soon became twisted.
Convinced he had been chosen to usher in the second coming of Jesus Christ, he cast aside the church and set out to finance his own apocalyptic cult by any means at his disposal -- including drugs, prostitution, extortion, and murder. Finally, his own excesses and depravity opened the door for the police to take the prophet down.
This is the true account of one man's reign of unholy terror, the fanatical followers who did his bidding as if it were the word of God, and those unfortunate victims who would die for the greater glory of Taylor Helzer . . .
It starts out as an interesting little theft case. Branson, Missouri’s new Sheriff Hank Worth is called out to look at stands of trees that have been stripped of their bark, which the property owner had planned to harvest for the booming herbal supplement market. At first, Hank easily balances the demands of the investigation with his fledging political career. He was appointed several months earlier to the vacant sheriff position, but he needs to win the fast-approaching election in order to keep his job. He thinks the campaign will go well, as long as he’s able to keep secret the fact that a group of undocumented immigrants – hired to cut down the stripped trees – have fled into the forest and he’s deliberately not looking for them.
But then the discovery of a murder victim deep in the Ozark backwoods sets him in the middle of a generations-old feud that explodes into danger not only for him, but also for the immigrants, his deputies, and his family. He must rush to find a murderer before election day, and protect the vulnerable in Branson County, where politicking is hell and trespassing can get you killed.
In her next novel featuring Sheriff Hank Worth, acclaimed author Claire Booth delivers a taut, witty mystery that will grip readers from the opening pages to the breathless conclusion.
Available now from Minotaur Books