Eighteen years after he tossed a lost girl back to the wolves, Miami lawyer Jake Lassiter gets a second chance at redemption.
If she hadn’t been underaged and more than a little stubborn, Krista Larkin would have been just another one of the strippers Jake’s buddy Rusty MacLean hired for his birthday party. But when she refused to get into the car that would return her where she came from, Jake took her back to his place and into his bed. Next morning, when her boyfriend and pimp, porn prince Charlie Ziegler, spotted them together, Jake released her to Charlie, and she promptly disappeared. Now her sister Amy, a Toledo insurance investigator, is looking for her, and she’s convinced that Jake, the last person on record as seeing her alive, knows more than he’s saying. She’s right, of course, and that’s mainly why Jake, who frets, “I could have helped her,” agrees to help Amy look on a pro bono basis. But it’s hard to search through a present-day landscape that so little resembles the past. Charlie Ziegler, long since gone legit, is now a cable millionaire and major philanthropist. His ancient business partner, Max Perlow, has close if murky links to Florida State Attorney Alejandro Castiel. Nobody knows anything about what happened to Krista, even though everyone in South Florida seems to have been present at the last party she attended after Jake dropped her off. A prologue warns that Amy ends up in jail on suspicion of murdering an unnamed man, but it’s not till after her trial ends that rough justice will finally be done.
Highly competent work by Levine (Illegal, 2009, etc.), with the usual cascade of surprises at the end.