Small-town cops Andi Battaglia and Greg Lamont investigate the murder of Greg’s ex-lover from Miami in this second installment of a Florida-set mystery.
Greg, who recently transferred to the Burgess Beach, Florida, police force to decrease his stress level, is shocked to discover that former girlfriend Miranda Duncan—a charismatic, moody redhead—is dead, found with a slashed throat in a local hotel room. The suitcase that hotel staff remember her toting is gone, and her autopsy reveals that she underwent childbirth in her past. Meanwhile, Andi, who joined the force just before Greg, is dealing with a stalker—her ex-boyfriend who’s married and a cop. When the Burgess Beach police captain finds out that Greg knew Miranda he takes him off the case and assigns it to Andi. Given Greg’s background knowledge of Miami and the elusive Miranda, however, Andi pulls him into the investigation unofficially. They travel to Miami, tracing Miranda’s myriad jobs and intense relationships, including one with a Cuban drug kingpin. Andi and Greg contend with several menacing characters as they open up the compartments of Miranda’s life, which draws the colleagues, who were already circling one another, even closer. They also track Miranda’s nanny and child back to Burgess Beach. Sojka has done an admirable job expanding the characters and Florida flavor introduced in the series debut. While Greg’s prominence in the opening of this narrative is a bit surprising (the first book focused on Andi), Sojka ultimately knits together these two characters’ perspectives, setting them up for future sleuthing/romantic escapades. She also gives them a flashy, well-paced plot that takes readers into the underbelly of Miami as well as to Miranda’s surprising roots in nearby Fort Pierce.
A fine, explosive sophomore effort.