Bailey’s Future Lite procedural leads detectives through the past in search of a killer’s motives.
In the parallel-ish world of 2019, Detective Hannah McCabe, of the Albany PD, is unlucky enough to catch the case of what seems to be serial murder. The first two victims have a telltale sign left by the killer, but McCabe suspects that the recent murder of Tony-winning actress Vivian Jessup is the latest in the series even though Vivian has a few years on the other two victims. Hannah and her partner, Mike Baxter, start to find indications that might connect Vivian to the other murders despite the fact that she evidently ran with a different crowd. But the closest thing Hannah and Mike can get to a suspect is the wealthy Ted Thornton, who’s romantically linked to the recently deceased. The only other clue the detectives have is the possibility that the murder was related to Vivian’s lifelong interest in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Hannah can rely on her erudite dad as a sounding board; her troubled relationship with her brother Adam, which still weighs heavy on her mind, is another story. It’s never clear why this tale of a serial murder investigation is set in the future or what it gains from that setting apart from a certain unwelcome opacity.
Bailey (Forty Acres and a Soggy Grave, 2011, etc.) has done better work.