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A Season for Killing is a character-driven suspense novel by Carl T. Smith set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina amidst a labyrinth of corporate greed, murders for hire and corruption that threatens the very fabric of the area. Cole Sturtevant has come into law enforcement the hard way. Raised in a blue-collar mill town in southwestern Virginia, from street cop to detective. He didn't consider college when he graduated from high school, instead, he gave birth to a checkered career that shifted his path from Virginia to South Carolina. He is, by any standards, as politically incorrect as anyone employed by a government institution.

Sturtevant's partner, Carsyn Thoreau, had travelled a different course. A Brown University graduate with a Law Enforcement degree, she has considered Beaufort, SC, a stepping stone to her plan of going back to school and getting a law degree. Her theory was that seeing the law in action would make her a better attorney, and Beaufort had seemed a safe place to begin. She had not planned on Cole Sturtevant.

When Sturtevant and Thoreau were dispatched to investigate what appeared to be a hit and run on a secondary highway between Beaufort and Savannah, Georgia, there had been no way to predict where that assignment would take them. Between their own observations and those of the local coroner, they quickly concluded that the "accident" had been staged. It was the beginning of a search that would lead them through a maze of corporate greed, which involves a well-respected, though corrupt, real estate mogul, gentlemen's clubs and a sociopathic killer.

A dynamic cast of characters including a frightened attorney, a research genius, who maintins his own computer-generated informational network, an intelligent, young dancer and college student, who works at one of the "gentlemen's clubs" out of necessity, and a "tracker/bounty-hunter" who finds within himself a sense of humanity. Together they create a scenario that exposes murder-for-hire and the "money-men" who form a large part of the fabric of today's society. An unexpected and violent conclusion to the investigation threatens not only their lives and careers, but also leaves indelible marks on their personal relationship.

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Carolina Fire is a disturbing chronicle of murder and shame set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The book is not a redneck, alcoholic wife-beating, mamma-got-run-over-by-a-pickup-truck Souther novel, nor is it about money, politics or emerging ghosts from the past.

Although murder is central to the plot, it is the destruction of a human soul and its causes that resonates throughout the novel. As D.H. Lawrence said: "To suffer in one's whole self is so great a violation, that it is not to be endured." Anger, obsession and familial disintegration create an atmosphere in which evil thrives as a driving force.

Sam Larkin in a complex paradox of a man. A former wildlife law-enforcement officer, unjustly imprisoned ex-con, teacher and artist, Larkin has come to the Lowcountry to find a peace that is sorely lacking in his life; however, as a friend from his past tells him, through his loyalty to friends and to those he loves, trouble seems to seek him out.

Despite his past, nothing could prepare Larkin for what he has to face when a former colleague, Robin Streeter, a divorced secondary school psychologist, dies in a house fire. Originally classified as an accident, it is later determined to be murder. Having worked with and been friends with the woman, Larkin's sense of morality and loyalty compel him to find the killer.

Covington County detective Campbell Gardner is assigned to the case. Knowing Larkin's association with the victim, Gardner enlists his help in the investigation. Like Larkin, Gardner has his own devils to deal with. He is not liked by his fellow officers because of his expertise, big city background and affluent lifestyle, as well as the mystery surrounding his arrival in Covington from the police department in Atlanta, Georgia.

The killer's paranoia results in a second murder, the shooting of Larkin's best friend and a vicious attack on Denny Layne Kimbrell, an art gallery owner, friend of Robin Streeter's and an admirer of Larkin's work and the man himself. Though their relationship in the beginning is professional, violence and Robin Streeter's death give birth to a more personal bond.

Larkin not only becomes immersed in his work with Gardner, but is also considered a suspect by sheriff's deputy Willy Brister, an alcoholic and disgruntled man, who is obsessed with getting justice at any cost for the dead woman. He does not believe anyone who has served time in prison can ever be rehabilitated, which makes Larkin a prime target.

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Enigmatic Sam Larkin, a former environmental law enforcement officer, ex-con, ex-teacher and artist, is no stranger to violence.

But now, after being called - under false pretenses - by Karen Chaney, a federal officer and Larkin's sometimes over, to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, he finds himself torn from the serenity of his lowcountry home in South Carolina and thrust into a mission of retribution.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the past, Sam becomes an integral part of an investigation of former judge, now United States Senator, Thornton Hunnycut, who unjustly sent him to prison years before. Hunnycut is in the running to be named to the second position on the Democratic Presidential ticket.

Being faced with a return to Louisiana, the site of his imprisonment and a state he is forbidden by his release agreement to ever enter again, an ex-wife for whom he has immeasurable guilt and a growing distrust of Karen Chaney, creates an epiphany that teaches him more about himself than he has ever known or been willing to admit. The parameters of fighting a war between Chaney's federal restrictions and his own "loose-cannon" and "street-smart" methods proves difficult and dangerous.

Larkin's quest takes him on an emotional and sometimes violent odyssey to the Gulf Coast, the city of New Orleans, the bayou country of Louisiana and beyond into a world of deceit and murder at the highest levels of state government and national politics. The heat turns up when the mixture of corruption and avarice in high-stakes presidential politics and the viciousness and greed of "good ol' boy" Louisiana goes to war with one man with a cause.

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Lowcountry Boil is set in the Lowcountry of coastal South Carolina. The novel explores the corruption and moral inequities in a small Southern town. Not typical of the conflicts in so many novels of the small town South, Lowcountry Boil is a story of legal and personal conflicts, political intrigue and complex personal relationships played out by a colorful cast of characters. Carl T. Smith combines lyrical writing and a compelling plot with strong characters - both men and women - to create a powerful novel that will grasp the reader until the final page.

Sam Larkin is an enigma. A high school dropout, he joined the Merchant Marines, later earned a college degree in biology and worked as an environmental officer in Louisiana until he was unjustly sent to prison by Judge Thornton Hunnycut, who has eyes on the United States Senate. Released under extraordinary circumstances after serving four years of a fifteen-year sentence, Larkin moved to Covington, South Carolina, to begin a new life teaching school and painting. He has set on a path of non-involvement and a search for peace, which is shattered when knowledge of a conspiracy of major proportions falls to him. Despite efforts to ignore it, he is ultimately drawn in.

Karen Chaney, working undercover for the Federal Government, learns of Larkin's past and seeks to make him an ally in her investigation. Amidst a set of circumstances that include a questionable drowning, a corrupt school superintendent, two children whose lives are put in danger by an innocent discovery, a scandal involving bankers, lawyers, doctors and a law enforcement officer, a major conspiracy is exposed. During the course of the investigation, an improbably and impossible relationship developed between Karen Chaney and Larkin.

Driven by passions, fears and internal conflict, Smith's characters will pose a number of personal questions for the reader.

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Nashville 1968. John Ryan Stone, ex-army officer, ex-teacher, ex-husband and wannabe songwriter has been pushing his music for three years with no success. Down and out, his luck changes when he is invited to audition his songs for Don Hendrickson, one of Nashville's top producers. Although he is a reluctant performer, the raw earthiness of his voice and his sensual lyrics suggest a new direction in country music.

Stone is suddenly catapulted into a whirlwind of cutting demos, and making career planes that he has little say in. Soon he is flying to New York to sign a contract with Trayhorn International, a recording giant making its first foray into Nashville music. At Trayhorn he meets Kate Belden, a beautiful and focused promotion manager who is assigned to direct his career. What he doesn't know is that Trayhorn is infused with members of the Tedesco Crime Family, which is trying to take over the company and targets the rising star as the key to that end. All too soon, John Ryan and Kate find themselves enmeshed in the dark side of the music business involving bribery, threats, counterfeit records, cut-out schemes, and murder.

Carl T. Smith's first novel seamlessly moves from the recording studios of Nashville to the underworlds of New York and Philadelphia. Through a variety of colorful, romantic and dangerous characters, he skillfully weaves a tale of rising stardom, suspense, new-found love and innovation in the music industry. This book is sure to appeal to the country music fan and readers of suspense alike.