Throwback Thursday this week features Low Country Punch, an audiobook I listened to in 2015, narrated by RC Bray.
TA Reddick is a Federal Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Miami. He and his partner are working an undercover drug ring and just getting ready to meet for a cocaine exchange in a multi storey garage. When they meet the two sellers TA recognises them as Diego and Robert Vasquez. Robert is a cop and a good friend of TA’s who had saved his life the year before. In the ensuing shoot out, Robert is killed and TA’s partner is injured. Diego Vasquez escapes.
It’s Christmas Eve and the worst night of TA’s life. He’s shot and killed his friend and his fiancée, and long time love, Anna, has left him on what was to be their first Christmas together.
Fast forward several months and TA is back home in Charleston, dealing with guilt and a broken heart, working with the local branch of the DEA. When a famous movie star, who is in Charleston filming, falls from his hotel balcony while high on cocaine, the DEA comes under pressure to crack the drug cartel and find the supplier.
Seven of us faced each other at the long table. Other than Steve nodding at me, no-one acknowledged my presence. I had a feeling no-one liked the idea of a new agent coming on board, especially since Steve introduced me on my first day as the “cocaine expert.” It was true: other than Steve, I had more experience with coke than anyone. But no-one wanted to hear about some hotshot from Miami coming up to show them how to deal with their escalating white powder problem. Especially one who’d come their way after putting a cop in the ground.
TA is back working undercover to infiltrate the drug ring operating in Charleston and Savannah. Things get very complicated with a new love, a stalker who saves the day and unexpected and surprising twists in the plot.
The story is told exclusively from TA’s perspective and he’s a man full of interesting characteristics. Principled but ruthless and tough in his job, doing what is necessary, yet able to communicate his feelings honestly. He’s witty, engaging, and a very good musician. Emotional awareness and music serve to soften TA’s character and lessen considerably the conventional tough guy image.
The supporting characters are equally well defined and diverse. An excellent and well paced narrative includes lots of action and humour and gives an interesting and very visual quality with rich descriptions of the old South setting. The framework of the drug trade and the DEA’s investigative procedures are detailed and obviously well researched. A most enjoyable story enhanced by a terrific performance by RC Bray. I’ve since downloaded, and look forward to, Mr Walker’s other two books also narrated by RC Bray.
About the Book
After one of the worst nights of his life, DEA Agent T.A. Reddick leaves Miami for Charleston, SC, hoping a return to his roots will heal a wounded heart and the guilt of killing a friend. The sleepy and sultry city of Charleston is filled with echoes of the Old South: genteel playboys, society debutantes, and quiet cobblestone streets. But as Reddick will soon discover, there’s danger lurking under her charming veneer. When a movie star’s death shines a national spotlight on Charleston’s underground cocaine trade, he must go undercover to find the main supplier and shut him down. As a hurricane bears down on the port city and the DEA gets ready to spring its trap, Reddick must contend with more than he ever could have imagined.