Interesting. I thought I dropped 30,000 words in book 3 (A Cold Copper Moon). I didn't realize, that to start over, I had to drop 50,000 words. Ouch.
So my solution: Go back to the first draft (about Big Oil) and continue.
And so, I am at 63,000 words--a novel is usually 75,000 to 80,000--so I am almost there!.
The main story line is about Oil drilling in the Everglades. The side story is Cooper's final resolution in finding his son, Maxie.
It's a crazy ending--can't wait to get there.