“The mistake we made,” a distraught Grace DuCain says, “was that none of us understood evil.” She’s shaken—desperately trying to cope with the idea of a murdered daughter—but unequivocal in her assessment of Tayron “T-Jack” Jackman, her son-in-law, star forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves, as a veritable Prince of Darkness. Actually, by planning to settle $100 million on him, she’d been planning to make him her ex-son-in-law. Now, however, the police are telling her that Terri, her daughter, is already beyond the reach of T-Jack’s habitual cruelty. She’s lying dead on the kitchen floor of his house, leaving no one in any serious doubt who’s responsible. It doesn’t take Minnesota PD Special Detective Marshall Bahr (The Dead Survivors, 2002, etc.) to accept Grace DuCain’s view of the sleek, black, impeccably Armani-clad, flagrantly nongrieving widower as absolutely on target. In fact, T-Jack doesn’t even try hard to hide his culpability. Arrogant, insufferably cocky, he all but challenges Mars to find the flaw in this perfect gem of a crime. But it’s not easy. T-Jack’s alibi seems ironclad: he was negotiating the divorce settlement with Terri’s parents while their daughter’s throat was being slit. So Mars is stymied until he realizes that seeing double might well be the only way to see clearly.
Mars “Candy Man” Bahr is as likable as ever, but the story’s pivotal plot twist may be too much for readers to swallow.