What looks at first like a fatal accident and at second like an unassuming, all-in-the-family homicide--elderly widow Sophia Admunds's quiet fall down her basement steps--reveals a much more sinister side when Lincoln Prairie, Illinois, cop Marti MacAlister (Done Wrong, 1995, etc.) and her partners link it to the drowning of teacher's aide Liddy Fields. Liddy had even fewer friends than Sophia had bickering heirs; the one blip on her screen is her attachment to Natalie Beatty, a schoolgirl she couldn't save from being returned to her abusive family eight years ago. Natalie disappeared soon thereafter; the rest of her family has disappeared, too; and now, it seems as if everybody who knew her at Park Elementary--Sophia Admunds, for instance-- may be on the endangered list. A heartfelt indictment of child abuse that's still the most uneventful of Marti's five cases. But the killer's chilling final confession strikes deep.