Julia Winchell's not coming back. Her husband and two little daughters are waiting for her at their diner in Tennessee, but the small-business convention Julia attended in Cincinnati turned out to be her last stop. Or practically her last, since she took the time for an assignation with the lover who's still, like her family, awaiting word from her. Instead of any word, they get only a leg recovered from the Interstate, along with a trash bag containing her hands and feet and head that surfaces in a trout stream. But Cincinnati cop Sonora Blair doesn't think there's any mystery about who killed Julia. Just before her death she made it clear that she'd seen a photo of a man she'd watched helplessly as he committed a murder ten years ago--a man she recognized as the Cincinnati District Attorney. With her only witness against the murderous D.A. as dead as his first victim, Sonora and her partner, Sam Delarosa, have to scramble for evidence, even though somebody in their own department is obviously feeding news about the investigation directly to the D.A.'s office, and even though every lead they turn up confirms the scary idea that a few people have known for years what this guy's been up to without lifting a finger to stop him. The story doesn't have the fiery originality of Flashpoint (1995)--Hightower makes every move as foreseeable as a train wreck from a mountaintop vista--but it hurtles along with as much velocity as one of those doomed trains.