Do-gooders run amok.
With a tender assist from her brother James’s lover Hal, Chloe Newcombe once sat beside James until he succumbed to AIDS back in Topanga, then moved to the Big Apple, where she got involved with an alcoholic cop. Now, disenchanted with her beau, she flees once more, this time from New York to Arizona, where her plane is met by her surviving brother. Danny has a habit of nursing wounded souls, some even flightier and more drug-prone than himself—a habit that accounts for his current companion, Kristi, a beautiful but almost certifiable young girl. On the way to the tiny rural town of Dudley, they stop for car repairs. While Chloe and Kristi wait in a nearby diner, Danny disappears. Although the cops could care less, the girls finally manage to get to Dudley, where they camp out in the home owned by Hal. When Kristi vanishes in turn, Chloe, who has bad instincts about men, finds herself surrounded by several of them, most of whom are privy to secrets, drug connections and hints about Kristi’s father, supposedly a victim of arson years past. Chloe, who has handled details for a New York private eye, begins investigating and soon turns up past loves, old murders and more betrayals by men who scam her.
Chloe (A Song for You, 2008, etc.) is damned interesting, and you forget the gawkiness of the plot when she’s at center stage. But she sure could use a more thought-out story line.