A private investigator is desperate to escape from years of threats.
Kate Weller has traveled to Pensacola to visit her brother, Liam, who’s been in jail 16 years following a robbery that left someone dead. Years after Liam confessed, at least one of his former associates continues to threaten Kate to ensure his further silence. The last straw is when the car belonging to her boyfriend, chef and restaurant owner Eric Manfredi, is destroyed by a bomb. Although Kate, fearing for Eric's safety, broke up with him, he follows her to Florida, where her boss has found her a case to work so she can spend some time down there with her brother. She's investigating the murder of Agnes Westin, whose daughter, Lainey, wants to be sure the police don’t arrest her. After talking to Liam and digging up more information on his case, Kate realizes he pleaded guilty to protect her. Visiting a hypnotist who regresses her back to the night of the robbery, she remembers that Liam didn’t arrive at the scene until after the murder, when he was knocked unconscious and left with the body. In the meantime, while looking into the death of Agnes aboard her yacht, Kate gleans enough information to conclude that she was poisoned. A wealthy, snobbish patron of the arts, Agnes was hardly beloved by all, and she often fought with Lainey. But Lainey, who has plenty of her own money, seems to have loved her mother despite their differences. So Kate widens her search at the same time she’s trying to discover who set her brother up. As she and Eric fight over her recklessness, he and her friends force her to accept his services as a bodyguard while she searches for answers.
Ellis’ second mystery/romance (Hiding in Plain Sight, 2018) provides plenty of red herrings and veiled threats without being particularly compelling.