In Lawrence’s debut thriller, the shocking torture and murder of a brilliant scientist lead his brother and a forensics expert to investigate the dead man’s cancer research.
After he is fatally shot, a bloody Adam Yates stumbles onto Regan Riley’s campsite and manages to say only a few things, including the cryptic “Saving…Amy.” He later dies, and Regan learns from Adam’s identical twin, Sheriff Drew Yates, that Adam was obsessed with finding a cure for breast cancer, which killed the brothers’ mom. Regan, a forensic scientist, was already looking into buying the Yates property to start her own crime lab. She and Drew believe that Adam’s final words were a clue to his research, a presumption apparently shared by the people who killed him. Regan soon spies a figure on her land; her house is ransacked, and someone assaults her. Adam, it seems, had hidden a journal that may hold the answers, while the investigative duo is astonished to learn that the killers have some VIP connections. The novel has a quirky cast that grows as the story progresses. For example, Sam and Jo, a bickering married couple, join Regan’s forensic team, and Regan rescues an abandoned dog (a Lab, of course) with a first-class sniffer. Readers know who the baddies are right away, so most of the mystery lies in Adam’s two-word riddle, which isn’t very difficult to piece together. Still, Lawrence drops in a few twists that keep the story humming; even a subplot of Regan joining a search party to find a missing boy, which comes out of nowhere, eventually links to the main plot. The inevitable romance between Regan and Drew is both credible and well-developed. But while Regan is practically bursting with charisma (she has her own shotgun and knows how to use it), Drew is a little dry. Lawrence ends the novel with no doubt that a sequel will follow.
A thriller that primes the estimable Regan and (most of) her supporting cast for many more stories to come.