© 2017 Joel W. Barrows
© 2017 Joel W. Barrows
Copyright 2017 Joel W. Barrows
Veronica Dugan was as seductive as she was ambitious. As a small town newspaper reporter, her dreams of the big time sometimes clouded her judgment. Veronica would get the story at any cost, using every tool at her disposal – sometimes even her smoldering sexuality. But her take-no-prisoners style made enemies, so few could claim to be shocked when her body was found floating in the Mississippi River.
The suspects were many:
Gary Boyer, a boyfriend consumed with jealousy and plagued by insecurity. He knows that Veronica is more woman than he deserves, and a woman that he could never hope to keep. Still, he can’t let her go. Her draw is more powerful and intoxicating than any narcotic.
Tom Hughes, one of Veronica’s many lovers, a man who thought that he had once again found love, only to learn that he was nothing more than a convenience.
Kell Plastics, a powerful and ostensibly “green” international chemical company whose local plant is one of the few remaining major employers in the economically downtrodden city of Riverport. Few know that Veronica is about to unearth Kell’s dirtiest secrets; that the label “green” was nothing more than a marketing ploy.
The City Council, whose good ol’ boy politicians don’t know the meaning of “conflict of interest.” For one council member in particular, the beautiful young reporter on the City Hall beat has become more than a mere nuisance.
Jessica Reid, who learns that the man of her dreams was having an affair with her onetime best friend-- Veronica Dugan.
Poisoned Waters introduces Deputy Tobias “Toby” Briggs. His determined investigation of Veronica Dugan’s murder leads him in directions no one could have anticipated. His dealings with Veronica’s former colleagues at The Riverport Chronicle expose the simmering tension between law enforcement and the media, a relationship born of necessity and mutual exploitation.
Riverport, situated on the banks of the Mississippi, is home to a host of characters with entertaining quirks and a sense of rough justice. Poisoned Waters explores the lifestyles of those who live there, celebrates their individualism, and notes their respect for the river and its power. Riverboats and blues festivals, anglers and barge hands, and the diverse Mississippi River Valley wildlife all contribute to the texture of the story. Deputy Briggs’ love of the river and his disdain for those who would exploit its resources creates a backdrop with a powerful environmental message.