Her mother’s murder has forever altered a woman’s life.
Harper McClain discovered her mother’s nude and bloody body when she was 12. Because her father was a suspect who left her with her grandmother and eventually moved away and remarried, their relationship remains fragile at best. Harper’s anchor during those difficult times was Robert Smith, now the head of Savannah’s homicide squad. Although he never kept his promise to find the elusive killer, he’s always treated Harper like family, and her good working relationship with the police has enhanced her career as the crack crime reporter for the Daily News. Fearless and driven, she and her photographer, Miles Jackson, never give up on a story even when it puts them in danger. Now she faces a case that could turn her life to ashes and destroy her forbidden relationship with undercover cop Luke Walker. When Harper and Miles arrive on the scene of a murder, she learns that the body of Marie Whitney was first discovered by her 12-year-old daughter. When she sneaks a look at the crime scene, it’s exactly like that of her mother. From that moment, she becomes obsessed with the case. Is the culprit the same person who killed her mother—someone so well-versed in police work that he leaves no clue, no DNA, no trace evidence, even taking away the victim’s clothes? Unlike Harper’s artist mother, Marie was a highflying fundraiser for a local college who was disliked by her co-workers and had a long string of loversone of whom Harper suspects may be one of the detectives working the case. Although Luke rebukes her for her obsession and denies that a cop could be the killer, Harper risks her job, her lover, and even her life when she won’t back down.
Daugherty (Night School, 2013, etc.) uses her experience as a crime reporter to create a pulse-pounding combination of mystery and suspense that hints at a welcome follow-up.