The opening lines:
A cane was no good for walking on sand. It penetrated to different levels and caused tentativeness. When Carver got within a hundred feet of the surf, the cane’s tip made soft sucking sounds and water appeared in the round holes it left in the sand.
Topical Heat is the first (of 10) Fred Carver mystery novels published between 1986 and 1996. Carver, a former cop, took a bullet in the knee while on duty and prowls Florida’s criminal underbelly with a cane and a sense of duty as a private eye.