Intriguing first installment of a suspense trilogy that may make readers reevaluate their concept of right and wrong.
On her way home from school, teenaged Amanda Blankenship is raped and murdered by Jason Hill, who, in his bravado, leaves a trail of evidence leading straight to him. However, police incompetence results in his release. Amanda’s father Tim, who also recently lost his wife to leukemia, publicly vows to kill Hill and traffic cameras record him following the culprit. When Hill’s body is found in a mall parking garage a short time later, police arrest and charge Tim Blankenship despite an absence of proof. At the same time, alcoholic reporter Carrie Linden is tracking a serial killer who targets sex offenders who have been released on technicalities. Aware that this vigilante, not Blankenship, murdered Hill, she contacts Blankenship’s attorney Michael Taylor. Together, she and Taylor—assisted more than he knows by Hill’s actual killer—work to free the wrongly accused man. As Carrie and Taylor’s romance develops, she worries that the secrets she’s keeping may endanger any future relationship. The insider’s look at the mind of a pedophile may make readers uncomfortable, as might the portrayal of a serial killer as a good guy, though others may cheer him on. Well-written and impeccably researched, Parkington’s novel is a provocative page-turner. Frequent changes in point of view keep the action moving, but they also make the true protagonist, if there is one, difficult to discern. While this is Parkington’s first work of fiction, he is an experienced author of academic work, so his writing is grammatically and syntactically pleasing. An abundance of irrelevant detail (meals eaten, tips left, times of flights taken), coupled with a lack of description, are the only flaws in this fine work of fiction.
Suspenseful legal thriller with surprising depth and nuance.