Olivia Lathom's body is dumped in Paddock Square in the
middle of the night. Paddock Square is in the center of
Brownwood, one of three town squares in The Villages,
Florida, an expansive retirement community in north
central Florida. Olivia is in The Villages for a book
signing of her New York Times best-seller.
Esther Higgins is accused of killing Olivia. Esther is
the aunt and only living relative of J. D. Duncan, Matt
Royal's girlfriend. Matt is called into action once again
... called to leave his beach bum life on Longboat Key and
head to The Villages to defend Aunt Esther. Esther's
arrest is based on the say-so of a neighbor who heard
Esther say she would kill Olivia for stealing the
manuscript she wrote. That manuscript put Olivia on the
best seller list. However, after Esther is arrested, more
evidence begins to mount against her.
Matt's investigation takes him on a journey through
Sumter County and The Villages, to several small towns in
southern Georgia, on to Buckhead in Atlanta and even into
South Carolina. As one small clue leads to another, he
wonders how they all fit together. J. D. even goes
undercover in The Villages to ferret out as much
information as she can to get her aunt out of jail. With
the trial moved up, can Matt and J. D. put the pieces of
this puzzle together and keep Aunt Esther from going to
I was so excited when I opened VINDICATION and discovered
it was set in The Villages, FL. It's right in my
backyard! H. Terrell Griffin certainly did his homework
on this place. His descriptions of the people in general
and the places in this 115,000 resident retirement
community are extremely accurate. Mr. Griffins'
characters are always a mixed bag, funky and a lot fun.
We learn a lot more background about both Matt and J. D.
in this eleventh book of his Matt
Royal Series. The plot
takes numerous twists and turns, as more evidence is
collected about the real nature of this killing. And Mr.
Griffin has a treat in store for his readers of this
series at the end. Do not miss it!
In this John Grisham style mystery, Matt Royal, the
retired lawyer-turned-beach-bum is called back into the
courtroom to defend his girlfriend J. D. Duncan's Aunt
Esther, who lives in the sprawling North Central Florida
retirement community of The Villages. A best-selling
author has been murdered after a book signing and Aunt
Esther has been arrested. Matt has a history with the
local sheriff―one which may not bode well for his client.
Matt reluctantly suits up for the courtroom and J.D.
takes a leave from the police department to go
undercover. A bizarre specter from the past haunts their
investigation every step of the way. As they delve
further into the case, the pieces of the puzzle refuse to
fall into any kind of coherent pattern. Jock Algren
arrives with his special skill set to expose the real
murderer and free Aunt Esther, but to no avail. Not until
the case goes to trial and the evidence is revealed does
the truth emerge―and a strange kind of justice prevails.