Former Philadelphia police officer Max Freeman is in his canoe on a river in South Florida when he sees something wrong. When he gets closer, he sees that it is a dead body of a young girl. Later, he learns that it is a six-year-old who has been abducted and murdered.
Max has been living with the memory of a child he shot in self defense while he was on duty with the Philadelphia police. His motivation to be a cop ended with the remorse he had by taking the life of a twelve-year-old. Now, seeing the girl's body, the memories and sadness returns.
He knows that the police always look closely at the person reporting the crime and is ready for tough questions. He learns that there have been other children who have been abducted, killed and their bodies left in remote places, like where he lives.
Max has an attorney, his friend, Billy Manchester, who advises him not to say anything to the police but his obligation as a former law enforcement officer obliges him to disclose what he knows. Then, when another child is abducted, police don't hide their suspicions that there are too many coincidences and he becomes a possible suspect.
The author maintains the tension at a high level as we see Max attempting to investigate the abductions while at the same time trying not to look even more like an accessory to the crimes. He visits remote areas in the Everglades in hope of finding the killers but in doing so, places his own life in danger.
A well plotted novel with intriguing characters and a believable story. Max is easy to sympathise with after his bad experiences in his past return to haunt him again. He's honest, intelligent and determined in his search for the people who are guilty of the crimes against children.
It was also interesting to meet characters like Nate Brown, a war vet and man who lives by nature and wants to do the right thing. I could visualize him in the days of the old West, leading wagon trains through a safe path, to avoid being attacked by Indians.