Things get much too personal when a private eye’s brother is implicated in the disappearance of a local DJ.
Not a sound sleeper, especially when she’s over at her girlfriend Catherine’s place, Roxane Weary is roused in the middle of the night by a frantic call from her brother, Andrew. Andrew is panicked that he might be in trouble—real trouble, more than his home stash might otherwise get him into. He tells Roxane the story: Addison Stowe, a girl he once knew, came by his apartment in a state of terror, made a phone call, then disappeared into the night. Now Addison’s missing and Andrew’s the last person to have seen her. He knows he needs an ally like Roxane if the cops come knocking because he has a suspicious scratch on his face that suggests he might’ve been more than just a potential safe harbor to Addison. But Andrew claims he hadn’t seen or heard from Addison for ages before this last visit. Roxane wants to protect Andrew, whom she trusts in spite of his unconvincing story. She reaches out to Tom Heitker, a friend on the force who was her late father’s closest friend, to ask for his help and also because, well, she’s missed him. The two have put a brief romantic interlude aside to pursue a less fraught friendship, though Tom may be interested in revisiting their past. Roxane and Tom connect Addison’s presence at Andrew’s to the Nightshade Club across the street, where Addison was a sometime DJ, and to the BusPass dating app. Just as things start to go Roxane’s way in the investigation, Mickey Dillman, a former cop connected to the case, turns up dead, bringing Roxane back to square one and Andrew into police custody.
Lepionka’s keen eye for integrating national news and technology into her developing characters’ plotlines produces a story that’s timely in more ways than one.