His former lover Elizabeth Kleinfeldt drags self-exiled Seattle lawyer Matthew Riordan (Picture Postcard, 1990) back into the ring to investigate the slim chance that her client, death-row inmate Robert Polhaus, isn't really the Motel Room Killer who strangled three hookers four years before. Though Polhaus is no model citizen, the case against him stinks to high heaven: The police never bothered to look for two witnesses Polhaus said he saw at the third crime scene; all three victims had passed through Dreams, an escort service run by plausible but sadistic Larry Poole; a therapist who'd been treating all three of them hanged himself hours after the third body was discovered; and the third victim's john book, which the police never found, implicates everybody from an investigating county cop to a local newspaper columnist to the judge who heard prostitution cases against all three. But just when Liz seems to be close to the smoking gun, she's killed, and her raised-eyebrow law firm is determined to run grieving Riordan off the case. Dense, turbulent, and just sleazy enough for the squeamish. The final revelation, though, may be one surprise too many.