An assistant prosecutor trying the biggest case of her life doesn’t realize that the victim she’s hoping to avenge isn’t the only damsel in distress.
Fifteen years after her actress roommate Jamie Evans was strangled in Central Park, Broadway sensation Natalie Raines has the awful experience of meeting and recognizing her killer. Hours later, Natalie is shot to death herself. But Bergen County prosecutor Ted Wesley, who never called Jamie’s murder anything but a robbery gone bad, fails to connect the two crimes. Instead, he indicts Gregg Aldrich, Natalie’s estranged husband and former agent. The most damning (and virtually the only) testimony against Gregg comes from career burglar Jimmy Easton, who bargained down the sentence for his latest job in return for a story about Gregg offering to pay him $25,000 to kill Natalie. Jimmy should be a terrible witness, but he isn’t. So even though Michael Gordon, the Courtside TV host who’s kept an ominous distance from his old friend in the weeks leading to the trial, runs a series of informal polls that indicate that nearly half the TV audience thinks Gregg is innocent, things look a lot blacker for the defendant in the courtroom. Emily Wallace, the assistant prosecutor Wesley has assigned to the case, wonders if Gregg is guilty after all. Although she doesn’t know it, Emily has much bigger problems to deal with. Her solicitous neighbor Zach Lanning is actually Charley Muir, who vanished after killing his wife’s family in Iowa and now has his eye on Emily. The closer Emily gets to nailing Natalie’s murderer, the closer a second, unrelated murderer is getting to nailing her.
Clark (Where Are You Now?, 2008, etc.) handles the courtroom scenes capably, and fans will be as excited as ever coming down the home stretch. It’s a shame that the climax awaiting them is the most strained and silly the bestselling author has ever fobbed off on her devoted readers.