The sixth traumatic excursion for Bannister’s agoraphobic math teacher, his unrequited love and her emotionally retro lover.
Just as Daniel Hood is getting the feel of second gear again as professional finder Brodie Farrell encourages him from the passenger seat, Alison Barker dashes into his car. She intones that he won’t get her the way he got her horse-trainer father, then tears off. Even though he’d never met her before and knows nothing of her father’s death, Daniel feels guilty. So the next day, when Alison is admitted to hospital comatose from Scram, a new drug that’s already claimed the lives of two teens, he waits at her bedside for her to awaken and swear that she doesn’t do drugs and that horse-transporter Johnny Windham is to blame for her near-death and her father’s murder, which the Dimmock CID labeled a suicide. Brodie’s lover, Supt. Jack Deacon, thinks Alison’s a nutcase but wants to find out who dealt her the Scram. Inevitably, Deacon’s, Daniel’s and Alison’s interests collide, with Brodie wondering whom to believe. Do you trust your best friend more than the man you live with? Can you mediate between the two?
The horse-and-druggie plot is barely serviceable, and it’s time to stop torturing poor Daniel (Breaking Faith, 2005, etc.). Still, Bannister excels at juggling her main characters’ quirks, nuances and seething lapses of loyalty.