Corrosive greed, public corruption, and environmental degradation intertwine in small, historic Ellicott City on the Patapsco River that feeds into the Chesapeake Bay. Jack Tasker is a typical thirteen-year-old, save for his shock of red hair and being the nephew of a not-so-typical uncle who serves as his surrogate dad. Ben Tasker is an irascible newspaper man and reporter. When the skeletal remains of a young girl, over a century old, surface at the reportedly haunted Patapsco Female Institute, the police are compelled to search the grounds for more bodies. Surprisingly, they find a newly murdered John Doe. Immediately Ben and Jack are on the case. While the two peruse the grounds of the institute for clues that the police might have missed, they witness the appearance of an apparition that surreptitiously leads them to the discovery of a backpack in the hollow of a large tree. As the truth begins to unfold, Ben and Jack realize they have opened a Pandora’s box of shady political and corporate dealings that will jeopardize forever the health and well-being of millions who rely on the Chesapeake.
Kirkus Review for Lies Beneath Ellicott City
“The tale is smoothly written in clipped chapters with lots of homespun tidbits, informational asides on the semantics of hydraulic fracturing, and vivid, politically charged backlash and environmental intrigue . . . A serpentine whodunit with amateur sleuthing, plenty of satisfying suspense, and more adventures ahead.”