A forensic expert tries to make sense of a grisly string of murders.
Joanna Moorehouse was living the life. Already, in her late 20s, she was CEO of Sterling Financial, a large mortgage company. Her job rained down perks, including a luxurious home in the Cleveland suburbs. Who could have hated her so much that he or she wanted her not only dead, but literally hacked to ribbons on the floor of her pristine dining room? Maggie Gardiner (Unpunished, 2017, etc.) hopes to cull enough evidence from the scene to give a firmer direction to detectives Jack Renner and Thomas Riley’s investigation. What interests Maggie most is not what she finds but what she doesn’t find: no blood trail, no fingerprints, no trace of the killer’s movements walking away from the scene of his own carnage. As Renner and Riley seek motives for the killing among the Sterling staff, including Jeremy Mearan, an employee whose benefits package included access to Moorehouse’s bedroom, Maggie puzzles over the trace evidence. But it isn’t until more corpses crop up, similarly slashed and with similarly sterile crime scenes, that Maggie, Renner, and Riley realize that the murder isn’t just about Joanna. Black offers readers a crash course in subprime lending and credit default swaps along with a strong position in suspense. The good guys don’t all finish first, but in the end, justice is done.
Like her Theresa MacLean series, Black’s Gardiner and Renner investigations graft a quirky social justice sensibility onto a solid backbone of detection.