Dallas detectives Sarah Kingsly and Angel Johnson (Open Season, 2011, etc.) return to confront a case almost as gnarly as their relationship.
Newly assigned to each other, the women just don’t feel as comfortable as partners should. It isn’t that they have any reason for serious distrust. Yes, Sarah’s white and Angel’s black, but in the past, neither has been much troubled by racial bias. Perhaps it’s their approaches to the job: Sarah’s is more instinctive, more by the gut; Angel’s is more by the book, more unsettled by what she views as Sarah’s hippy-dippy style, as if it could plunge her into situations beyond the scope of her training. When a young woman is strangled, nothing about her suggests a connection to the sleazy motel in which she’s found, and once she’s identified, her actual connections start the Dallas PD hopping. These extend to a quirky, exclusive Dallas businessman’s club and a private school with some offbeat operating principles of its own. The Tracy Clemment murder turns out to be the kind of high-profile case that sends police brass in a frantic search for people to blame and corners to hide in if the investigation goes sour. Through it all, Kingsly and Johnson remain remarkably steady. But then just when it seems that they really might be cut out to be partners, they come to a bump in the road that paves the way for the next series entry.
Deftly plotted and paced. Although it’s certainly possible to grow impatient with the protagonists’ unwarranted impatience toward each other, they’re appealing enough to keep the pages turning.