A detective and a killer tell their stories in alternating chapters, each chasing the other as the killer enacts her revenge on the men who have done her wrong.
The murder of architect Michael J. Gallagher seems to come out of nowhere for LA Detective Sam Carver, who is surprised by the finesse of the quick cut to the victim’s neck. While Gallagher wasn’t the most gregarious man, he’s not someone who seems to have a lot of enemies, even according to Carver’s interview with the dead man’s ex-wife, Miranda, and the ex-wives tend to be the ones with dirt. Carver is sure Miranda is holding something back, but she’s in New York, and Carver can’t seem to wrestle whatever it is out of her before he has to attend to his own East Coast obligations—namely, visiting his mother, who is fading fast with signs of dementia. Readers have a better idea of Gallagher’s murder and the motive, as chapters switch between Carver’s story and the first-person account of the killer, a young woman, also an architect, named Dylan Cross. Dylan has been accessing Gallagher’s computer files for years, and it seems the real mystery is what Gallagher has done to her to motivate her to seek revenge. But Gallagher isn’t the only person Dylan has been surveilling, and she soon dispatches Paul Jamieson, one of Gallagher’s friends, who also had a part to play in what happened to Dylan. The only person she’s counting on to be on her side is Carver, with whom Dylan claims a spiritual-ish connection based on general stalking and reading of his computer files, including his journal. The murders of two friends makes Carver’s investigation easier, as he’s sure the cases are tied together and there are few people who might have motive to kill both men. But Carver may not have to do all the investigative legwork if Dylan continues trying to get close to him—she may be willing to reveal her secrets if she can make Carver into the titular “My Detective.”
An interesting conceit—occasionally bogged down by nonspecifically brooding characters—ramps up to an anticlimax that will test readers’ commitment to Fleishman’s (Shadow Man, 2012, etc.) world.