Falling for the wrong man could prove life-threatening for an interior designer in this debut novel.
Davis’ unlikely protagonist is Kathryn Landry, whose life has gotten complicated quickly. Her cold, overbearing husband, Neil, has suddenly vanished. While the couple drifted apart, Neil tightly controlled their finances, including handling the transactions for Kathryn’s design firm. Assigned to Neil’s case is Detective Mike Williams, who failed to find Kathryn’s missing father 25 years earlier. Also offering to help is John Selton, a client of Kathryn’s who also runs a security firm and constantly flirts with her. Despite the search for her husband, Kathryn finds herself romantically drawn to both Mike and John, who can’t stand each other. Then her apartment and office get broken into, with the target a flash drive that only the two men know about, so one isn’t on the up-and-up. In addition, she discovers Neil had made plans to leave the country imminently with all their money and his mistress. Fortunately, Kathryn is supported, emotionally and financially, by her assistant-turned-partner, Marianne Patton, and her husband, Richard, who take in Kathryn. They help her sort out the chaos that surrounds her as she tries to decipher what Neil did that caused his disappearance and put her life in danger. She also meets her dying uncle, who fills in some of the holes in her history. With a novel heavy on dialogue, Davis has created a fast-paced narrative. She effectively uses her native Southern California as a backdrop, especially the ever present wildfires. Kathryn does seem to move on from her absent husband rather quickly, content to waffle between two intriguing new suitors. But considering how badly Neil treated her, that’s certainly understandable. In addition, all the mysteries in the heroine’s life improbably get tied up a little too neatly by the book’s end. Still, Davis deftly keeps readers as up in the air as Kathryn throughout this well-crafted tale.
An impressive thriller by an author worth following.