A buried crime bears bitter fruit 27 years later.
Audrey Cutler was two years old the night she was stolen from her bed. Her kidnapping left her mom a permanent emotional wreck. Its impact on Audrey’s brother Sammy is harder to calculate. Is it the reason that so much of his ensuing life has been spent behind bars for one transgression or another? Attorney Jason Kolarich thinks it might be. Best friends as kids, Sammy and Jason have been out of touch for longer than Jason is comfortable remembering, and now they’re reconnecting in an unforeseen, unsettling way. Sammy’s in jail again for the murder of Griffin Perlini, the sex offender who was once accused of Audrey’s kidnapping. Jason has been hired for the defense under bizarre circumstances. The man who turns up in Jason’s office one day calling himself Mr. Smith makes it clear that money is in ample supply and that his interest in Sammy’s acquittal is intense. But why? Exactly who is Mr. Smith? Is he the shadowy stand-in for someone who, like the Cutlers, has lost a child to a pedophile’s perversion? None of these excellent questions will be answered in a way Jason could possibly have predicted.
Plotting with Christie-like care, Edgar winner Ellis (Eye of the Beholder, 2007, etc.) lifts the curtain on a promising new series.