An erudite investigator is an outsider in the small town where she’s been hired to catch a child predator.
Talented and ambitious, Dr. Keye Street was in the process of working her way up the food chain at the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime when her drinking put the brakes on her career. Now that Keye has a few years of recovery behind her, she’s settled into a more sedate life as the head of her own firm, Corporate Intelligence & Investigations. Although much of the business relies on bail jumpers and background checks, the phone still rings sometimes with a special case that needs Keye’s expertise. When Sheriff Meltzer calls to ask Keye to investigate a child predator in the rural town of Whisper, Georgia, she gets a familiar feeling of excitement. Admittedly, this feeling is only partially about figuring out what kind of person would abduct two teenage girls 10 years apart; Keye’s hit a bit of a rut with her boyfriend, Rauser, and is aching for a chance to head out of town. Once Keye arrives in Whisper, she’s shunned by the local cops, who are insulted that Meltzer has contracted out their job to an outsider. But Keye’s fresh perspective might just be what’s needed, since the more seasoned cops’ personal knowledge of the families involved has led them to overlook key pieces of evidence. The abduction of another girl forces Keye to come up with fast answers before another body is added to the count.
All the twists and turns readers of Williams (Stranger in the Room, 2012, etc.) have come to expect, though the sketchy development of the minor characters makes the big reveal less effective.