A journalist’s childhood experiences continue to color her life, and not in a good way.
Julia Gooden’s father, Duke, was a con man and her mother, Marjorie, an alcoholic whose parenting skills left much to be desired. Eventually they deserted Julia, her older sister, Sarah, and her brother, Ben, who protected Julia until he was kidnapped, tearing the sisters apart. The mystery of his disappearance was never solved, but Julia still hopes that he somehow survived. Now that Julia’s cheating husband is dead, she’s returned to her first love, police officer Ray Navarro, but is taking it slow to protect the feelings of her traumatized boys (Duplicity, 2017, etc.). On her way to a murder scene, she suddenly recognizes her father at a gas station. Shaken, she hurries on to the crime scene, where Chief John Linderman gives her a sneak peek at the body of Angel Perez, killed by an arrow. Navarro’s partner tells her that there have been similar crimes over a long span of time, never publicized as serial killings. Meanwhile, Julia’s not the only one who knows her father is back in town. His former criminal associates are determined to retrieve something he stole from them when he skipped. They follow Julia hoping she’ll lead them to Duke, who comes to her rescue when she’s attacked but refuses to tell her anything. Julia visits her sister, a recovering addict who’s back in town trying to change her life. She’s approached by Phoenix Pontiac, who asserts that Ben is still alive and gives Julia the bracelet Ben gave her as a child as proof. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Duke’s former associates are even more dangerous than she’d imagined. Unless she can plumb the tangled web of murder and deceit, her whole circle may end up victims of the serial killer who’s somehow connected to Duke’s enemies.
A complex, highly suspenseful tale of murder, revenge, and redemption.