Sayre Lynch, a drop dead gorgeous red head and sole owner of a top notch interior decoration business in San Francisco, had just been told that one of her older brothers, Danny, had committed suicide. She was shell shocked and her heart ached for her brother. She was also burdened with a terribly guilty because he had called her all weekend and she had blatantly ignored his calls. He was the gentlest of all the Hoyles, much like their late mother Laure Lynch Hoyle. Laure had been a sweet young woman who had died very early, leaving her husband Huff to raise their 3 kids. Sayre had been a tomboy who had grown rebellious as her father practically ignored her existence in favor of Chris, the first son who took after him in character. Sayre had distanced herself from her family and family business, despising them and what they stood for most especially her father Huff Hoyle. She had also dropped the family name and picked her mother's middle name as replacement. She wondered what Danny had been calling about. Had he finally gotten fed up or their father's lack of scruples? Was he being forced to do something he couldn't handle? Could she have changed his mind about committing suicide? Sayre's mind was full of questions as she drove from the New Orleans International Airport to Destiny, the town were she was born; the town controlled by her family's business, Hoyle Enterprises. She had vowed bitterly never to come back to Destiny 10 years ago. She had done all she could to relinquish her partnership in the family business to no avail; Huff had had made sure she couldn't give it up no matter how hard she tried.
Huff Hoyle, millionaire, owner of Hoyle Enterprises and father to Chris, Danny and Sayre. He was a big, brash, manipulative man who insisted on controlling everyone and everything and who always got his way. He was an unscrupulous and deadly man who conducted his business as though he was above the law. Hoyle Enterprises was a foundry, that is, a factory for casting metal. The foundry was the major source of employment in Destiny and almost every household had members working for the Hoyles. Huff spent as little as possible on maintaining the foundry, preferring to amass the wealth for himself and his family while his workers bore the brunt of his selfishness. The working conditions in the factory were terrible, safety measures were neglected to save cost and many lives and limbs were lost in the process. The Security Manager, George Robson was as fat as he was useless to the employees. He was a 'yes man' and served only as Huff's mouthpiece. He did nothing to improve the security measures necessary for the safety of the employees and only towed whatever path Huff asked him to. He secretly despised the Hoyles because of the shame they brought him and suspected that Chris Hoyle was sleeping with his beloved wife, Lila.
Chris Hoyle, first and favorite son of Huff Hoyle, was the Operations Manager for Hoyle Enterprises. He was extremely handsome, well built and as suave as a movie star. He was an ladies man and had no scruples about sleeping with any available, beautiful married or single in Destiny. He was in fact currently sleeping with Lila Robson, the beautiful young trophy wife of George Robson, the fat Security Manager for Hoyle Enterprises. He was as hard as his father and even more heartless and devious. He was responsible for the daily running of the factory. He went almost everywhere with Beck, his friend. He acted like one who had no conscience and was a jealous of the love his father showed anyone else especially Beck.
Danny Hoyle was Huff's second born and the Human Resources Manager at the Foundry. He was a gentle man who had a kind word and a kind smile for everyone. He tried very hard to defend the employees but could never defy his father and brother meaning he eventually had to implement their unscrupulous decisions. He was regularly burdened by his brother and father's misdeeds but seemed powerless to change anything. He had recently found a modicum of peace in church where he became a born again Christian and began to secretly date Jessica Deblance, a pretty gentle woman who was one of the church choristers. In fact, they were also secretly engaged to be married but Danny kept it all from his family not wanting their interference. He was however found dead at his family's fishing cabin at the edge of the swamp in what seemed like a suicide. He was loved by the people of Destiny and they truly mourned his death.
Beck Merchant, company Lawyer/Legal Manager of Hoyle Enterprises, was the Hoyles "go to" man whenever there was a problem they couldn't resolve. He was just as handsome as his friend Chris without the other's obvious superiority complex. He had green, playful, mesmerizing eyes were Chris had black, intense eyes. Beck was extremely good at his job and was always able to get both Chris and Hoff out of all legal tight corners. He was a friendly and extremely intelligent young man, who seemed to always be one step ahead of others especially with his problem solving skills. The Hoyles had come to rely very much on him and practically made him a part of the family. Huff Hoyle treated him like one of his sons. He was given an apartment to stay free of charge and could come and go from the Hoyles' mansion as he pleased.
Sheriff Red Harper, Destiny's tired, guilt ridden sheriff, was weighed down with the responsibility of investigating and confirming that Danny Hoyle's death was truly a suicide. Red was elected into office 30 years ago with his campaign significantly boosted and his win guaranteed by Huff Hoyle's money. He had since then received constant monthly stipends from Huff supposedly to boost his salary but which actually meant he was on Huff's payroll and had to bend several rules to protect and cover up for him. Red had recently been recently diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer which was weakening him rapidly as he refused to spend his last days undergoing chemotherapy. He was on the verge of retirement and had just been assigned a new Deputy, Wayne Scott. He was quick to write off the case as a suicide and close the case but Deputy Wayne Scott wouldn't let go that easily. He investigated the suicide scene and was convinced that Danny had been murdered based on the angle of the shotgun used. Sheriff Red Harper could do nothing to deter his new deputy and a search for the murderer began.
Slap Watkins, an ex-convict, was as dangerous and repugnant as he was cunning. He had grown up on the streets and had quickly developed his own meanness as a means of survival, learning to fight nastily. He often wound up in bar fights and everyone knew his hatred for the Hoyles and their wealth. He had run into Chris Hoyle and Beck Merchant at a bar and provoked them, starting a nasty fight that landed him in jail. He threatened to come back to retaliate, screaming his intentions to come back and kill every Hoyle as he was hauled off to prison. He had just recently been released on parole from jail a few weeks before Danny's death. Despite being on parole, he continued to threaten Chris and Beck for getting him locked up.
Clark Daly was the town drunk and a worker at the foundry. He had been a very bright and promising young athlete who had fallen in love with Sayre Hoyle 10 years ago. He had been voted most likely to succeed as they graduated. Clark and Sayre had been madly in love, to Huff's utmost disapproval. Huff had done everything to separate the young lovers. Sayre had thought they could get round her father's decision and had gotten pregnant for Clark as they planned to elope. Huff, who had ears everywhere, had found out and prevented the elopement. He then struck Sayre unconscious and took her to the incompetent and unscrupulous Dr Tom Conroe. Tom Conroe was also on Huff's payroll. He had tied Sayre down and aborted her baby against her will. As though that wasn't enough, Huff had immediately married the depressed, mourning Sayre off to one of his friends, much older than her without giving her a choice. Without Sayre's knowledge, he had also gotten Clark's scholarship withdrawn and ensuring that he couldn't continue his education as his parents were poor. With Sayre out of his reach, no money to continue schooling, Clark had to find a menial job to support himself and his family and ended up drinking to drown his sorrows, working in the foundry and hating Huff Hoyle.
Danny Hoyle had been a gentle young man, a newly born again Christian who had recently found love. He had been liked by the townspeople including the badly treated employees of Hoyle Enterprises. Why would anyone want to kill him? He seemed to have no enemies. Why had he called his sister Sayre repeatedly before his death? What had he wanted to tell her? Who killed Danny Hoyle and what was the motive? The answer to that question can be found in the incredibly captivating page turner of a novel titled "White Hot" and written by Sandra Brown.
Cheers and thanks for reading!