Things are about to heat up in the sleepy town of Exile, Florida. When fact-checker Frank Cole is asked to help the Exile Bank update its safe-deposit records, it sounds like a nice, simple job. With the aid of retiree Gray Toliver, Frank starts tracking down bank customers who left the area without emptying their safe-deposit boxes.
That’s when the temperature starts to rise. Frank learns that an impostor tricked his way into the safe-deposit room a few days earlier, and that he may have emptied one of the boxes. No one can get in touch with the box owner, Dorothea Freehoffer, so Frank decides to go knock on a few doors. The mercury climbs a few more notches when Frank finds out that Dorothea died of an accidental fall shortly before the impostor visited the bank.
Frank begins to dig into the accident, only to find more questions than answers. A shady lawyer is making inquiries in Dorothea’s neighborhood. A sultry district attorney starts dogging Frank’s footsteps. A sealed envelope that Dorothea had hidden with a friend appears, but all it contains is a map of a real estate development that never happened.
Throw in a crooked geologist who disappeared in the area twenty years ago, a pair of smooth-talking land speculators, and a visitor from Frank’s past who is in no hurry to leave, and Exile is well on its way to the boiling point
The third installment of Vincent H. O'Neil's mystery series continues the story of amateur sleuth Frank Cole as he tries to identify a phantom, track down some missing bank customers, solve a murder, and earn a little Exile Trust.