A memorial service for 9/11 victims in the northern California coastal town of Port Silva leaves an aftermath of civil strife and murder.
Private-eye Patience Mackellar (Death Duties, 2004, etc.) is working on a case of a missing rancher while her assistant, daughter Verity, is busy getting her rehabbed house ready for occupancy. Rumors of war plans for Iraq have brought out large groups of peaceful antiwar protesters. In a fight with local hooligans at a cliffside park, two men go over the cliff and are presumed dead. One is Daniel Soto, a young man working on Verity’s house and living with talented musician Grace Beaubien, who’s giving lessons to the Mackellars’ soon-to-be-adopted daughter, Sylvie. The police soon discover that Daniel’s identity is bogus. Grace, who doesn’t believe he’s dead, hires Patience to find out more about his background. After Daniel’s friend Sean Flynn, nephew to the no-longer-missing rancher, is found shot dead, Patience continues to search for Daniel while the police try to discover the identity of the mysterious man seen with the thug who went over the cliff with him. Daniel proves to be related to a family whose business is in trouble for shoddy building practices. If Patience wants him to come clean, she’ll have to discover his hideout first.
Another of LaPierre’s complex tales whose strongly rendered characters continue to captivate.