On the Redneck Riviera, the panhandle coast of Florida, African-American police officer Barrett Bear Raines is fighting just to hang on in Dead Man's Bay. His wife has left him and taken the kids back to their small hometown, where black folks are more welcome than in urban Tallahassee. He has been taken off his beat as punishment for lackluster performance; he pushes paper from one side of the desk to the other, and then back.

This second entry in the Barrett Raines series by Darryl Wimberley chronicles the downward spiral of Raines's life, then follows him through the one case, that one-in-a-million case, which could be either his chance at redemption or his undoing.

Reminiscent of the novels of the late, great Charles Willeford, the Barrett Raines series is a worthy addition to the pantheon of American mysteries.

Bruce Tierney is a Nashville-based writer and mystery aficionado. He'll recommend the best in mysteries each month in a new column, Whodunit?

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