The shooting death of a beloved younger sister is only the first of a calculated series of shocks to the system for a Louisville interior decorator.
As they sit drinking in Conway’s Tavern during Derby Week, fashion model Lorelei March springs a surprise on her adopted older sister, Kelsey: She’s in love with photographer Cole Harrington. It doesn’t matter that he’s married to a wealthy older woman, the one-named ex-model Delphina; he’s going to leave her for Lori. Skeptical Kelsey never gets a chance to find out how likely that is to happen because moments after they leave, Lori is shot to death before her eyes. Only the deadly intervention of tavern owner Rick Conway prevents Kelsey from becoming Vernon Nott’s second victim. The two deaths open many questions. None is more urgent than why someone would pay Nott, whose recent history is filled with big-ticket purchases and whose apartment is filled with cash, to take a shot at Lori—or maybe, as Detective Enzo Pike suggests, at Kelsey. What ought to be the other big question, how much Kelsey has to fear from whomever hired Nott, is repeatedly undercut by Kelsey’s preoccupation with her widowed father’s vulnerability to Olivia Fairbourne, who’s clearly decided that being his late wife’s best friend entitles her to an even closer relationship with Truman March, and Olivia’s son, attorney Bradley Fairbourne, who’s so smarmy that it’s hard to see why Kelsey ever had him as a boyfriend. There’ll be more murders, but the trauma they cause is mostly local; readers trying to lose a night’s sleep should look elsewhere.
Thompson (Can’t Find My Way Home, 2015, etc.) does provide so many domestic secrets, threatening messages, masquerades, revelations of hidden birthrights, and motives for revenge that you may want to skip your next family reunion.