DuBois sets his interesting mystery in New Hampshire, his style rather old-school, that of a generation on the verge of retirement--much like his protagonist, Lewis Cole, retired from a career with the Department of Defense and the rugged adventures of a younger man unafraid of conflict or demanding hours. Cole is living in Tyler Beach, rebuilding his almost two hundred-year-old home and given to the occasional foray into investigation when called upon by friends. Currently, however, with a hurricane bearing down on the coast straight at Tyler Beach, Coleís priority is protecting his home, which has been damaged by fire as a warning when on a recent case.
Hammering a tarp over the unprotected parts of the building, Lewis is deeply concerned about his houseís fate should the hurricane hit with the force anticipated. The insurance company has been reluctant to pay on his claim, repairs impossible until the funds are released. Meanwhile, Cole has been sleeping in his rental car--his vehicle trapped in the burnt-out garage--calling the insurance agent with frequent demands to release the money for much-needed repairs, so far to no avail. Concerned that opportunists might try to scavenge whatever they can find in the unprotected house, Cole has decided it is safest to sleep near the property, regardless of the discomfort and lack of facilities.
With nothing on his mind but saving the house from certain destruction, Lewis is helpless to deny a request for assistance from a former love interest and journalist for the local newspaper, Paula Quinn.
She tells him that her fiancť, city attorney Mark Spencer, has been missing for four days. Without any communication from him, Paula is frantic, hoping Lewis can quietly make inquiries and determine where Mark has gone. Expecting to solve the mystery within a couple of days, Cole agrees. The seemingly benign retiree has seen wilder days in the Department of Defense and knows a thing or two about investigating, expecting Spencerís disappearance to pose little challenge. He may not be as physically fit as formerly, but Cole hasnít lost the instincts of his profession. Given the strong feelings he still has for Paula, he has no choice. Not to mention that he questions whether Spencer is worth the love of this very special woman.
In a small town, most people know one anotherís business. Tracking Spencerís recent activities
is fairly simple, from law office to home. But Lewis gets no answers; Markís law partners refuse to talk, and his condo empty. Cole has no choice but to request the help of Felix Tinios, a longtime friend with a reputation for knowing everyone, with contacts even in the less savory elements of society. Paula has great disdain for Felix, a man she considers a thug. But Felix has extensive resources which they will badly need in tracking down the location of an elusive fiancť who apparently is hiding secrets. Demanding to join in the search, Paula is forced to swallow her pride, Tiniosís special skills and contacts critical as the three follow the trail of the missing man. The search becomes even more intense when they learn
that Spencer is being pursued by an outlaw motorcycle gang from Wyoming. To understand this puzzle--and perhaps save Markís life--Lewis, Paula and Felix must find him first.
Suddenly itís a mad chase to locate Spencer, the leader of the gang wreaking havoc wherever he goes, gang members converging on their quarry at the same time as those who would save him from harm. Barely a step ahead as a violent confrontation becomes inevitable, Cole proves both wily and capable, albeit not as agile as he once was, forced to protect Paulaís lover in spite of his feelings, a man of a certain age boldly facing a violent gang. As for the fate of his house, Lewis is immersed in the unfolding drama, unable to extricate himself from the investigation before the hurricane hits, his house in the hands of fate.