Three weeks after his wife Katy's death in a fiery car crash, the harassing phone calls Bay Area history teacher Dix Mallory has been getting take on a much more sinister tone: The caller boasts that he had been Katy's lover for three years before she died. Dix isn't the only one getting the frightening calls. Realtor Cecca Bellini, Katy's old friend, dreads answering the phone for fear it will be the man taunting her with questions about just where her teenage daughter Amy is and just what she's doing. In a tight little community like Los Alegres, it isn't long before Dix and Cecca have confided in each other and started wondering which of their close friends (somebody who knows an awful lot about both of them, though nobody who matters much to the reader) is sadistically tormenting them, and why. But it isn't until a second suspicious accident--the fatal fire in another friend's vacation cabin when a propane tank conveniently blows up--that they look more closely into a previous auto accident Katy narrowly escaped four years ago, an accident finally as devastating as the one that eventually claimed her life. The first, grief-soaked half is less florid and more quietly affecting than most of Pronzini's Nameless Detective books (Demons, 1993, etc.), though the story kicks into autopilot with the unmasking of the revenge plot against Katy and her friends.