"Drenched in authentically southern foreboding...a journey down the Choctawhatchee River redolent of James Lee Burke and Dennis Lehane." -Gillian French, Edgar Award-nominated author of Sugaring Off and The Lies They Tell
Whenever a body is yet again found along the Choctawhatchee River, the same chaos ensues: newspapers clamor for a front-page story, locals whisper theories over steaming mugs of coffee at Delton Caf , and an unknown killer gets away.
This doesn't faze seventeen-year-old Clayton Thomas. Having suffered a string of personal tragedies, Clay's only chance to forget his painful past lies within the tangled terrain of the Choctawhatchee River-a place where he can disappear for hours when he's not caring for his ailing grandpa or stocking shelves at Bart's Bait 'N Tackle.
But when he stumbles upon a washed-up body along the riverbank, his worlds collide. Before he can reveal his finding to the police, he meets Scarlett- a snarky girl living alone in a houseboat tucked far away in the swamp. A place that, according to his grandpa's old fishing map, doesn't exist.
Scarlett is interesting, mysterious, and quite possibly a little dangerous-everything Clay is not. Even more compelling is his suspicion that she knows more about the body than she's letting on.
After learning her true identity, it becomes clear that Scarlett's situation is much more dangerous than Clay ever imagined, and some lawless people from her past will stop at nothing to keep her silent. But as summer days pass with Clay determined to protect her, the danger escalates, and secrets become nearly impossible to hide.