NYPD captain Julia Brennan (Little Girl Blue, 2002) catches a case outside her sex-crimes bailiwick: the brutal murder of wealthy widow Adeline Rose. Not your typical elderly matron, Adeline was a showgirl and unabashed gold-digger who snagged millionaire Herschel Liebman, more than 20 years her senior. On his death, she froze out his children Hannah and Steven, who, along with family lawyer Craig Whitmore, form a triumvirate of most likely suspects. Meanwhile, Julia’s lover Peter Foley, a brooding ex-cop on a five-year crusade to find his kidnapped daughter Patti, gets his first solid lead. It comes from a kiddie-porn peddler, Toshi Matsunaga, in the form of a blue video featuring Patti; rage and anxious hope lead a parade of volatile emotions through Foley’s head. While Julia neatly wraps her murder investigation with an arrest, Foley muscles a Brooklyn porn dealer named Philly Habib, who pulls a gun on him. Foley shoots Habib dead with no hesitation or regrets. He’s scooped up by the FBI for a grilling, but reveals little. Still, he steers clear of Julia for awhile, knowing her association with him is a constant threat to her career advancement. But Julia, seconded by teenage daughter Corry, values her relationship with Foley above department politics. When the couple reunites, Julie helps Foley by engineering the bust of a major porn ring—and he works with her to close a loophole in the Adeline Rose case. And on to the search for Patti.
With Julia and Foley on a surer romantic footing, this sequel has more a police procedural flavor—and, sadly, less flavor altogether.