Megan’s Cure opens in the Gulf Coast town of Bayou La Batre, the town best known as a center for processing shrimp, crabs and oysters harvested from the the Gulf of Mexico. It’s where Tom Hanks launches his shrimping business in the movie Forest Gump and it became famous again in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina when the floods receded, leaving part of the fishing fleet there were stranded on shore. It took more than a year before all the ships were rescued and returned to the water.
Megan is a 10-year-old girl whose mother immigrated to the U.S. from Southeast Asia to join the sizable community there on the Gulf Coast drawn by the familiarity of the fishing industry and warm Southern climate. It’s seven months after Katrina and the area still is recovering from the hurricane’s aftermath.
~ Having a wharf means constant rebuilding
The action shifts to other parts of the South as Megan and her ‘abductor’ flee, first to Tennessee, then to a cabin on a lake in North Carolina where the pair narrowly survive a run-in with one of the men pursuing them. Finally, they make their way into Georgia where they find a few days of peace in Savannah until their hunters eventually track them down there as well.
~ Carolina lake cabin
Savannah is one of the most picturesque cities in the South. It was carefully laid out with a system of town squares every few blocks. Today, huge oaks tower over the squares and much of the row houses near them. Spanish moss hangs down. It’s a scene right out of Gone With the Wind, but for the groups of tourists wandering around.
~ A Savannah Square
The riverfront has been renovated into an upscale tourist district. But you can see the old tracks and cobblestone ramps where bales of cotton once were hauled down to the river level. Stored in the warehouses that now house restaurants and shops, the bales awaited the English sailing ships that would haul them across the Atlantic to the
From the South, the story shifts back to San Francisco, Enzo Lee’s home base. As usual, Lee is enjoying some of the nicer things in the city – jogging routes that take him through the Italian North Beach neighborhood and out to the Municipal Pier that curves out into the Bay. As he passes by Washington Square and twin spires of Saint Peter and Paul church, he can’t help thinking about Joe DiMaggio, another local boy who became a baseball star, married Marilyn Monroe but always called San Francisco his home.
~ Oysters Rockerfeller at theTadich Grill
He meets with his friend and source Bobby Connors at some of nicer restaurants in town where cold drinks and hot hors d’oeuvres help ease the process of unraveling the questions in Megan’s Cure. His second-floor flat becomes command central as he sets out to battle the forces of Big Pharma intent on burying Megan’s cure and everyone associated with it.