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Lainie Commins, a freelance designer of children's toys, hires attorney Matthew Hope for a lawsuit against her old employers, Brett and Etta Toland. At stake are the lucrative rights to Gladly, a teddy bear with crossed eyes and corrective lenses. It's a straightforward case -- until Brett Toland is shot in the throat aboard his luxury yacht and Lainie becomes the chief suspect. From elegant canals to sunbaked ghettos, McBain has done for Florida's Gulf Coast what he did for the 87th Precinct -- created a teeming world where justice is elusive and where the saints and sinners are often one and the same.