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A private eye’s past comes back to haunt her.

At the tender age of 13, Ava Rome found her life changed abruptly for the worse when her career Army father vanished and was marked a deserter. Then her younger brother’s death in a bullying incident while she was supposed to be watching him left her suffering from guilt and nightmares. As a young MP stationed in California, Ava made an arrest that puts her in mortal danger now that she’s a PI in Hawaii. Norman Traxler, a psychopath who spent 15 years in San Quentin for assaulting a prostitute, has dreamed every day of killing Ava. Since she’s a sucker for defenseless people, Ava takes on the case of Jenny Mordan, another prostitute who's being harassed for sex by police officer Ron Nevez, a bad egg who’s involved with illegal drugs and pornography. Ava’s also drawn to Cassie Sands, the teenage daughter of a client who has little time to spend with her. When Cassie takes off, Ava finds her with pot grower Alvie Wong and is forced to hurt him to get Cassie back. Meanwhile, Traxler is slowly stepping up his harassment of Ava. He has no qualms about hurting her friends as a prelude to killing her. Instead of helping Ava, the police assign Nevez to the Traxler case. Neither Jenny nor Cassie is willing to listen to good advice, and they both become targets for Traxler, who really enjoys hurting women.

Its graphic sex and violence will keep this sequel to The Rules (2013) off a lot of bookshelves. But it reveals the dark underbelly of Hawaii and builds tension right up to the explosive conclusion.

Pub Date: June 18th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4328-2859-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Five Star
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2014


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