The mayor of Pitchfork, SC had been missing for more than a week and the town folks were worried. Not because they liked him, mind you, but because he was also the town pharmacist and people needed their damn drugs. Bennett Hampton II was a sneaky, underhanded son of a bitch. And that is why he was found in the Sun Inn hotel in Greenville, SC with a 9mm bullet hole in the back of his skull on a warm morning in August.
The word “warm” is used loosely here because warm isn’t even close to describing the temperatures. South Carolina, in the summer, sweats like the mother of a bastard child at an Easter dinner. Wind chimes hang lifeless on the wooden slat front porches as the folks sit on their rockers, fanning themselves with the past Sunday’s church bulletin – and using it to swat at the flies – as the backs of their legs stick to the white paint of the old wooden rocker. While the deep south, indeed, may be a slice of heaven in terms of the charm of the people, the climate is as close to hell as you’d ever want to be.