Taking a hint from other authors, such as Carl Hiaasen and Jeff Lindsay, H. Terrell Griffin sets his story in a fascinating Florida, that sets the tone for this wildly entertaining mystery. Matt Royal, retired soldier, lawyer, and occasional fisherman and beer drinker, becomes entangled in a web of conspiracy when an attempt is made on his life, and the life of his best friend, Logan. Royal, assisted by the chief of police, Logan, and his buddy Jock, a high up member of a secretive government agency with considerable influence and resources, embarks on a cat and mouse chase to find the people who want him dead.
The small town Florida setting allows Griffin to juxtapose his protagonist and supporting characters, all of who seem to possess that rare quality found only in small town, working class America, with the cold corrupt tone of the rich greedy villains. On top of the attempts at his life, Matt Royal is also forced to learn to work with the new female detective, J.D. Duncan, who not only threatens to disrupt the "good ole boy" cooperation between Royal and the Longboat Key Police Department, but also stirs feelings somewhere deeper in Royal's heart. Duncan is a great fish out of water, by the book, contrast to Royal's more maverick ideals. Through J.D. Duncan, Griffin manages to produce a surprisingly believable, romantic subplot.
This is the fifth novel to feature Matt Royal, but as this was the first novel I read, I don't think it is important to read the other installments in the series before reading this one. From the moment I began reading this book, I could not put it down! The novel takes place over a weeklong period of time, and is divided into sections by the different days of the week(it seemed oddly fitting that I read this weeklong story as the first novel in my Book A Week challenge). With the fairly short chapters and quick pacing, this novel had me flying through the pages and kept me engaged to the very end. As a fan of great mysteries, interesting characters, and beautiful settings, I found Bitter Legacy to be a great read!
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