Murder nearly destroys a Seattle family.
Jack Holm is in therapy to resolve problems with his emotionally distant wife. Since losing the lucrative job that brought him to Seattle, he’s been surviving by freelancing while Mary, a flight attendant, is picking up extra trips, often on short notice. Because Mary, who’s more interested in drinking than sex, leaves most of the household chores and child raising to Jack, he doesn’t miss her when she’s away for several days. He finally reports her as a missing person, but it’s too late, and when her body is discovered, raped and beaten, he becomes the prime suspect. His struggles to help his moody teen daughter Kelsey and his desolated younger son Tyler are cut short when he’s arrested and Child Services indicates plans to place the children in foster homes. Good lawyers keep Jack out of jail and with his children, but he realizes that he alone is interested in finding the real murderer. A child-porn CD discovered in a bag Mary mistakenly exchanged with a friend and some threatening phone calls give him a lead. With help from a Chinese computer expert and moral support from a new love, he pursues a dangerous killer.
In a shift from his Emerson Ward mysteries (Death is No Bargain, 2006, etc.), Sherer creates a suspenseful tale of a family stressed by the conflicts murder reveals.