A tame, talky thriller from prolific bestseller Krentz (Smoke in Mirrors, 2002, etc.) in which interior decorator Zoe Luce sees red—and it ain’t paint.
It’s also not just blood our psychic heroine spots on her latest job; she hears screams coming from the walls too. Makes it kinda tough to concentrate on those swatches—could it be that new client Davis Mason murdered his ex-wife? He points out that he painted the bedroom himself, but a rich man wouldn’t paint his own bedroom, thinks Zoe, especially not that awful white. And why is the bed missing? Convinced that something dreadful happened in his bedroom, Zoe hires the only gumshoe she can afford. Down-on-his-luck (and on his fourth divorce) Ethan Truax takes a shine to Zoe, though she’s a bit put out by his tough talk and who-cares demeanor as she plays the role of the Classy-Dame-in-a-Hardboiled-Mystery to the hilt. To no one’s surprise, Mrs. Mason seems to be most definitely missing when Ethan gets around to investigating after time out for some hot sex with his distraught client. Segue to a sinister, extremely expensive mansion-cum-mental-institution, Candle Lake Manor. It has been whispered, horror of horrors, that the heavily drugged, zombielike inmates aren’t all nutcases: some have just been locked up to spare their wealthy relatives the messy inconvenience of doing them in. The weirdo who runs the place is happy to oblige Ethan, who finds out that Zoe herself, under a different name, spent nightmarish weeks there after her husband Preston Cleland’s unsolved murder. Cynical and curious to the core, Ethan discovers that her alibi for the day Preston was killed is shaky. He knows Zoe won’t believe that her gentle, scholarly hubby was fooling around, but that’s what it looks like. How to tell her? Hey, he’s got troubles of his own, what with his own brother’s unsolved murder, a host of teary-eyed relatives awaiting closure, and . . . .
Strictly for the fans.