A New Zealand woman who finds people for a living has yet to find herself in Malane's second novel (Surrender, 2010).
Diane Rowe’s life changed forever when the murder of her younger sister drove her into a spiral of depression and heavy drinking. Now her ex-husband, Sean, a police officer, is remarried and has a child, and Diane, who’s recovered, lives with a retired police dog in their Wellington family home, which Sean wants to sell. Her current lover, Robbie, is also a policeman and, awkwardly, a friend of Sean’s. Diane accepts a request from recently released murderer Karen Mackie, who found God in prison, to check up on her 14-year-old daughter, Sunny, who lives with her father in Auckland, after Karen agrees to let the matter drop if Sunny doesn’t want to see her. Sunny and her brother, Falcon, were in a car that rolled into a lake while Karen was high on drugs. Sunny was rescued, Falcon was drowned, and Karen admitted to releasing the hand brake. In Auckland, Diane has the use of a town house belonging to Karen’s deceased mother, who’s left her a pile of money, much to the disapproval of Karen’s sexy stepbrother, Ned, who also uses the town house. Sunny’s short-tempered father, Justin, is remarried, has a son, and seems to be doing very well financially, but the Mackies are not exactly a happy family. Sunny, who dislikes her stepmother, does a lot of acting out but appears to be open to meeting the mother she has not seen for seven years. When Diane returns to Wellington, she finds Karen dead, most likely murdered. Diane’s life becomes very complicated indeed when she tries to figure out who killed Karen while feeling obligated to make sure that Sunny is being properly treated.
An entertaining combination of detective work, psychological thriller, and romance gone wrong.