The search for the killer of a murdered psychologist is hampered by her secretive widower and her interfering father-in-law, a police department bigwig.
Disenchanted by her husband Robert’s recent passion for a swinging lifestyle, Janine McQuarrie hits the road with her young daughter Georgia. She’s managed to take compromising photographs of many of Robert’s partners, sent the photos anonymously to the subjects and is on her way to meet an unidentified lover. Someone shoots her en route. Detective Inspector Hal Challis (Kittyhawk Down, 2005, etc.), unaware of the aforementioned details, begins a methodical investigation. Traumatized Georgia is little help; Robert doesn’t come clean about his sexual exploits; and his father, a detective superintendent, insists on being involved in the murder probe even though he and his wife never liked Janine, blinding him to his son’s faults and his possible culpability. Several backstories involving members of Challis’s team add texture to the main plot. Sergeant Ellen Destry’s marriage continues its deterioration, edging her closer to a liaison with Challis, to the chagrin of his ladylove, tabloid editor Tessa Kane. In the midst of a public-relations assignment, partners John Tankard and Pam Murphy hit a snag when she accuses him of trying to grope her.
A solid police procedural written with subtle intelligence, all the more interesting for its offbeat southern Australian setting.