Former Nashville cop Jared McKean is now a private investigator whose newest case turns his life upside down.
A badly scarred Vietnamese woman named Khanh has something interesting to show Jared: a picture of his father with a woman and two children. And she has something interesting to tell him: She claims to be his half sister. The photo smashes Jared’s idealized portrait of his father, who died 32 years ago. While he tries to come to terms with the new situation, he agrees to help find Khanh’s daughter Tuyet, who’s come to America hoping to track down Jared’s father in hopes of getting money to pay for her grandmother’s expensive medicine. Tuyet has vanished, and Jared’s only clue is the badly brutalized body of a young woman found in a Dumpster with a possible pimp’s sign scarring her neck, badly cut feet, and his address and phone number written on the back of a Vietnam-era picture of his father. Jared still has friends on the police force, but they have their hands full with someone who’s moved on from killing drug dealers to killing cops. Refusing to be left behind, Khanh shadows Jared as he investigates pimps and human traffickers of all sorts in an attempt to establish a connection with the dead girl, who must have known Tuyet. He uncovers some very unpleasant suspects, some of them dead, suggesting that someone will use any means to cover his tracks.
Jared’s third (A Cup Full of Midnight, 2012, etc.) continues to build the portrait of a good man with problems of his own to solve along with a difficult case that cuts close to the bone.