A woman with a dark past must confront her demons to save her brother from a murder charge.
Ever since a fiery car crash claimed her husband and son, Death has been Casey Maldonado’s constant companion. Now she returns to her Colorado hometown in the hope of clearing the name of her brother Ricky, who stands accused of brutally murdering his girlfriend, Alicia McManus. Alicia, a greasy-spoon waitress with no verifiable background, was obviously hiding from something in her past. The cops have no interest in looking further, especially since someone has obligingly framed Ricky by hiding a bloody shirt and incriminating documents in his apartment. Death gives Casey a tip that helps her and her friend Eric, who’s come after her despite her efforts to put him off, track Alicia to a small Texas town. There, they discover that 14-year-old Elizabeth Mann, aka Alicia, had vanished on the very day her father was murdered. Though she was never a serious suspect, she’d apparently been on the run for years until whatever she was running from finally caught up with her. Elizabeth’s family, including her look-alike cousin, remain in town, but although Elizabeth and her father had been living in his car ever since he lost his job, none of them has any idea who wanted him dead. Casey and Eric, accompanied by the ever-present Death, ask many questions and go through the detritus of the past until they find a motive that can lead them to the killers.
Having Death as her tipster makes sleuthing easier for Casey (Flowers for Her Grave, 2011, etc.), whose latest adventure provides mystery, romance and the hope that she’ll get her life back together.