True-crime writer Lydia Strong, now living in New York with investigator Jeffrey Mark, the former FBI agent who helped solved her mother’s murder 15 years ago, gets “the buzz” when she listens to a tape sent to her anonymously begging her to find Miami rich kid Tatiana Quinn and help “all those other girls.” Lydia’s buzz, a sixth sense demanding she take action, puts her and Jeffrey on a plane to Miami, where, before they even get to talk to Detective Manuel Ignacio or Tatiana’s Albanian mom Jenna and stepdad Nathan, a powerful venture capitalist, they’re followed and their hotel room searched. Then the FBI warns them to step aside, an idea vehemently seconded by Jeffrey’s partner Jacob Hanley. And someone extremely well-connected has Lydia’s mom’s killer released from jail to terrorize her. Only Nathan wants them on the case, but a snuff tape makes his motive suspect, causes two more murders, and butts Lydia and Jeffrey up against Jenna’s lover, Albanian mafia kingpin Sasa Fitore. A quick flight to eastern Europe uncovers enough conspiracy theories to make anyone paranoid, provokes several more flamboyant murders, and leads Lydia and Jeffrey back to New York to a confrontation with divers bad guys in Van Cortlandt Park.
Lydia, who was emotionally frozen in her debut (Angel Fire, 2002), now takes her emotional temperature every ten pages or so, and her buzz is nothing more than a noirish take on intuition. Still, it’s hard to walk away from the Albanian mafia. Who knew they even had one?