The Peter Bay


Three years after returning to his hometown of Leakesville, Mississippi, to speak at the funeral of childhood friend Brandon Smallwood, Grant Hicks is again asked home, this time by a retiring judge who says that a man accused of capital murder might be innocent. Grant, now married and a managing partner of his law firm in Atlanta, insists he’s a civil litigator and wouldn’t know how to handle a criminal case. But when the accused turns out to be Grant’s childhood friend Ben Petty, he gets involved.

The evidence against Petty, though circumstantial, is convincing, and the Petty legal team—which includes a veteran criminal attorney fighting to stay sober and a retired investigator never without his trademark cowboy hat—concedes they’ll do well to spare their client from execution.

​They catch a break when Grant learns that the only witness to the murder (the victim’s niece, a young girl with Down Syndrome) was never interviewed by local law enforcement. But what changes everything is a seemingly unrelated string of murders that Grant’s investigator is still looking into when the Petty jury announces the verdict. And when Grant’s wife Jade disappears, he realizes too late that a serial killer was in their midst all along and may have struck again.

​A classic Southern thriller and a worthy sequel to Pain Unforgiven, author Randy Pierce again brings Grant Hicks back to south Mississippi to fight the good fight and, in doing so, learn a lot about himself and the fascinating mix of good and bad people who populate the place he’s finally ready to call home.

“Randy Pierce brings small town Mississippi to the courtroom with a Grisham-esque tale of reclaiming one’s soul … a bountiful table of suspense and South Mississippi charm.”
—J.C. Patterson, The Clarion Ledger

“ … the perfect balance of legal suspense and elaborate storytelling … full of unexpected plot twists to keep you turning the page.”
Portico Magazine

“The characters and the local feel help set The Peter Bay apart from others in its genre … the whodunit factor earns an A.”
—Susan O’Bryan, Town & Gown Magazine

“ … I found myself unable to set the book down before gaining the unexpected denouement.”
—Jim Fraiser, The Sun Herald

“Pierce has a deep understanding of our legal system … and he has pulled out all the stops to craft a marvelous tale of murder, deception and, ultimately, redemption.”
—Neil White, author of ​In The Sanctuary of Outcasts