A Bay Area defense attorney is called unexpectedly to Tucson for the most somber of all possible reasons.
Now that her brother John’s body has been found floating in his backyard pool, Kali O’Brien (The Only Suspect, 2005, etc.) wishes she had tried harder, wishes she’d known him better—but most of all, she wishes she’d returned his calls a little sooner. If she had, she’d have known he was the chief suspect in the murder of supermarket heiress Sloane Winslow—a murder Tucson detective Erling Shafer has his own reasons to want solved as soon as possible. If she’d called, she might know why he’d hired p.i. Doug Simon to investigate a couple named Adams, or how he was involved with porn producer Wayne Clark. Instead, all she has now is a picture of three girls—Olivia Perez, a college student who was killed along with Sloane; Hayley Hendrix, whose nude body had been dumped in a canyon; and a drifter named Crystal—that was hidden in John’s office dictionary. Armed with that picture, she’s determined to prove John’s innocence, both to fend off the wrongful-death suit abrasive attorney Carmen Escobar has lodged on behalf of Olivia’s parents, and to soothe her tender-hearted sister Sabrina, who can’t believe her brother’s the heartless killer the police say he is.
Kali’s eighth case explores complex human attachments through a sharply focused plot that unfolds with beautifully controlled momentum.