Spunky Faith Cassidy, former recreational drug user, soap star, and morning talk show hostess, now a practicing therapist in Los Angeles, adds amateur detective to her résumé when someone rips off her stereo and jacket. She organizes a Neighborhood Watch and is assigning stakeout duties to block residents when a burglar/drug dealer wearing her purloined jacket turns up dead on her neighbor's doorstep. An anonymous eyewitness tells the cops he saw Jorge Carrasco leaning over the body with knife in hand. Jorge's mom asks Faith to find proof of his innocence—after all, aren’t Neighborhood Watch commanders supposed to help out needy neighbors? Acquiescing, Faith is soon snuggling up to the handsome eyewitness, snorting coke with a former lover, and planning an intervention to get him clean. She’s also arriving late for her patients’ sessions, not even showing up for some of them, and instead finding another body, accosting a drug dealer who then whips out a gun and kills another of her neighbors, and philosophizing about life, romance, and burglars with a gay chum while he puts the moves on a friendly waiter. More talk, more sex, more neighborly chitchat later, Faith and the gentlemanly eyewitness zoom off on his motorcycle in time to hear a few dying words from a killer with a suicide wish.
Faith, reporting from short-story duty for her first novel, is given too many cutesy cats, too many California hip-talking chums, and, yes, too many pounds. But Dain (Angel in the Dark, 1999, etc.) has shortchanged her on plot, and any therapist this discombobulated ought to be sitting at Freud's knee begging for help.