When there’s evidence that a PI’s brother has disappeared, her professional world turns personal as she uses her skills to uncover the truth about his life.
The Sonoma County Coroner’s office calls in Jeri Howard to identify a John Doe; though Jeri is a private investigator by trade, the case is personal as the body was found near a bracelet belonging to her brother. Jeri is relieved to report to her family that the body is not Brian’s, though it doesn’t solve the mystery of where he has been since leaving on a hiking trip the week before. Jeri tries to find out more information from Brian’s wife, Sheila, but starts to get more than she’d bargained for when Sheila discloses her fear that Brian has been having an affair. Seems like this is not the only secret Brian may be hiding as Jeri digs deeper into her brother’s life. Maybe there was a reason for Brian’s quickie move from Sonoma to Petaluma other than just getting a new teaching job. Will a search into the true identity of the body on the boat lead Jeri to her missing brother? Is Brian’s involvement not as a victim but as a potential suspect for murder? It almost feels like the more Jeri uncovers, the less she knows.
A gentle murder mystery, if there is such a thing. Dawson’s series continues with a softer side to Jeri and the Oakland scene (Bit Player, 2011, etc.).