Sharon McCone’s 29th case is a search for her half brother.
McCone, who has two dysfunctional families to deal with—three if you count the father she recently located—receives an e-mail asking for help from her half brother Darcy Blackhawk, a druggie and petty thief who’s been in and out of trouble all his life. To soothe Saskia, their birth mother, McCone asks her private-investigation agency’s techno-nerd Mick Savage to troll San Francisco Internet cafes and see whether Darcy can be found. The trail focuses on a remark Darcy made about Gaby and a coral tree in a cemetery. Gaby, it turns out, has been dead two years, possibly a suicide but more probably a murder victim. Someone who’s stashed Darcy away keeps sticking hyper-drug doses in his arms when he can’t tell where some secret tapes have gone. McCone and Mick, hot on the trail, locate Gaby’s legal guardian, now in sole charge of her inherited millions. They also identify The Four Musketeers, a group Gaby was involved with while doing volunteer work at a shelter, and learn that, slowly but surely, the quartet is being killed off. Mick will be attacked, McCone will be shot at and Hy Ripinsky, McCone’s husband, will thwart a ransom demand before Darcy is once more settled in a comfy psych ward for detoxing.
A glib but neatly plotted adventure from an author whose heroine has almost as many relatives (Coming Back, 2010, etc.) as fans.