Robotham, an Australian-based writer who specializes in edge-of-your-seat thrillers, turns in a complicated story that centers around a group of individuals who are not what they seem.
Marnie is a beautiful woman who has fallen on hard times. In addition to the untimely and unexplained disappearance of her journalist husband, Daniel, she’s struggling with a moody teenage daughter, a fragile young son and debts that are driving her into a demeaning lifestyle. Since she can’t provide Daniel’s death certificate, Marnie can't collect his life insurance, nor can she access his personal information or accounts. Even his employer refuses to hand over his personal effects. And that’s not the worst problem with which Marnie must deal: Daniel’s gambling habit has left him thousands in debt to a gangster who is determined to make his wife pay what is owed him. After he threatens her, her children and her elderly father, Marnie reluctantly agrees to work as an escort for a man who would not hesitate to order her death. About the only thing Marnie has going for her is her psychologist, Robotham’s longtime character Joe O’Loughlin. The psychologist has worked with police on sensitive cases in the past, and he knows his way around trauma victims, but while he does well with helping the helpless put their own lives together, his own remains a mess. O’Loughlin also suffers from a worsening case of Parkinson’s. Soon after starting Marnie’s treatment, he begins to suspect there is more to Marnie than she admits, and when people start turning up dead, he knows he’s dealing with more than just another victim.
Robotham’s writing remains solid. His latest, while not his best, will convert new readers and make his fans happy.