This newest addition to the Matt Royal series manages to keep the reader on pins and needles until the very end of the book. Matt is an attorney living in Longboat Key, Florida. Matt has pretty much given up the practice of law and is just enjoying a leisurely life.
Jim Desmond, a young groom, is killed on the beach in Longboat Key the day following his wedding. On the same day three other murders occur on a local dinner cruise. Longboat Key detective and close friend of Matt, Jennifer Diane Duncan (J. D.) isn’t coming up with any answers. The groom was from Atlanta. One of the victims killed on the dinner cruise was a lawyer from Jacksonville, Peter Garrison. Another victim was a twenty-five year old woman from Charlotte, North Carolina. The third victim was the Captain of the dinner cruise.
Matt is puzzled by the deaths but has no reason to become involved until an old buddy from Matt’s years in VietNam stops by for a visit. Charles T. Desmond (“Doc”) reveals that the young man killed was his son. Doc pressures Matt to file a civil case in order to gather evidence that the police can’t access and hopefully find out who killed Jim. Doc agrees that any evidence that is turned up from the civil action can be turned over to the prosecutors. Matt finds it difficult to say no to a man that saved his life so he agrees to take on the case.
Logan Hamilton and Jock Algren, Matt’s friends, join Matt to help with the investigation and the clues keep Matt on the move. More and more it seems that the deaths are part of some international plot. Before Matt and his friends can discover what is really going on there are more unexplained deaths and Matt fears for the life of J. D.
This sixth addition to the Matt Royal series is very good. It is not necessary to read previous Matt Royal novels prior to reading “Collateral Damage” but each book in the series reveals more about Matt Royal and the crew that usually steps up to help him out.