A curmudgeon. A loner. That's how people describe Garrison Gage, and that's when they're being charitable. After his wife's brutal murder in New York, and Gage himself is beaten nearly to death, the crippled private investigator retreats 3,000 miles to the quaint coastal town of Barnacle Bluffs, Oregon. He spends the next five years in a convalescent stupor, content to bide his time filling out crossword puzzles and trying to forget that his wife's death is his fault. But all that changes when he discovers the body of a young woman washed up on the beach....
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Nearly a year has passed since Garrison Gage became the reluctant guardian of a troubled teenage girl, but neither fatherhood nor the intervening months has improved his mood. His right knee is still mostly worthless. He still prefers to drink his bourbon alone. And even with a certain blonde bombshell a persistent part of his life, he still can't be bothered to buy a cell phone. Or any phone, for that matter. Why? Then somebody might call him.
A troubled young man. A murder that shocks the town. Buried secrets exposed to the world. They find him on the beach, shooting bullets into the sand. His name? Jeremiah Cooper, the son of the bullheaded high school football coach. Slight of build, soft of voice, he's got all kinds of torment lurking behind his eyes. But despite Garrison Gage's best efforts, he can't pull the kid out of his shell. Then someone turns up dead at the local community college, and Jeremiah's fragile world shatters.