A British attorney’s life after abduction.
Clara Pascal survived excruciating degradation at the hands of a kidnapper (Darkness Falls, 2004), but her emotional trauma persists. She’s alienated her husband and daughter and hasn’t tackled a criminal case as Crown Prosecutor in months, instead relying on her friend Michaela to lob simple custody and divorce proceedings her way. Now she’s agreed to represent Chris and Diane Tobin. They want custody of Helen, his love child, whose mother Amy has died. Complications arise when Clara learns Amy was murdered and photographer Ian Clemence, a man who may have stalked her, may now be stalking Diane. Clemence, barely out of prison after serving 12 years for murdering his drugged-out girlfriend with a claw hammer, had contact with both Amy and Diane. And yet Clara, disagreeing with DI Steve Lawson and DS Phil Barton, who are eager to fit him up for this crime, takes Clemence on as a client even though her defense of him loses her Chris and Diane as clients. She weathers panic attacks, a skinhead attack and ferociously uncomfortable moments with her family before dogged investigative work and the empathy of one tormented survivor for another unravels the real story behind Amy’s death.
Despite an unnecessary subplot concerning a land development project, Murphy’s second could be used as a textbook for posttraumatic stress disorder. Let’s hope Clara’s next case finds her in better emotional fettle.