J.P. Beaumont, a member of Seattle’s Special Homicide Investigation Team, runs interference for two friends involved in murder.
Former schoolmate Bonnie Jean Dunleavy, now Sister Mary Katherine, Mother Superior at St. Benedict convent, has been having excruciating nightmares. Another school chum, a hypnotherapist, brings her to Beau when his sessions with her indicate that repressed memories of a murder she witnessed 40 years ago are breaking through. Then Beau’s best friend Ron Peters, a paraplegic involved in a nasty custody battle, becomes the prime suspect when his ex-wife Rosemary is killed. He yearns to confess, but Beau thinks he’s covering for his daughter Heather, who didn’t want to live with her mom. Amid wispy subplots, Beau must blast through a well-financed cover-up to bring Sister Mary Katherine to her childhood home for a confrontation with her neighbor’s homicidal relatives, while Heather must cope with an unholy alliance between her boyfriend Dillon and her argumentative aunt before she can exorcise her demons. The conclusion finds Beau contemplating a professional and romantic partnership with Melissa Soames.
The literary equivalent of a paint-by-numbers kit, with no real surprises but no major flaws from old hand Jance (Partners in Crime, 2002, etc.).