A second wrenching adventure for black trial lawyer Carol Ann Gibson of Washington, D.C., only a year after the death of deeply loved husband Al, whose killer she had brought to justice (One Must Wait , 1998). A plea from her mother Grayce has sent Carol Ann back home to Jacaranda Estates—a once-peaceful neighborhood of hard-working black and Mexican families in West Los Angeles. Now, according to Grayce and friends Roberta and Angie, the last few months have brought burglaries and vandalism to the area, along with the killing of the two residents and an attack on an elderly Mrs. Asmara, still in a coma. Even the pristine playground has been turned into a meeting place for the thugs, one of whom Carol Ann dispatches in a hand-to-hand encounter. Scariest of all, though, is the apparent indifference of the LAPD to the mayhem. Meantime, a trip to Anguilla to interview original Estates owner-partner Arthur Jennings brings some revelations that cast light on crimes of the past and pinpoint the heavy-duty racket in progress at the moment. Finally, with the help from Tommy Griffin, sent to Carol by her rough, tough friend Jake Graham, a D.C. ex-homicide detective, and others, the whole ugly mess is resolved. The storyline is often confusing, never convincing. And Carol’s heroics are easier to take than her introspective forays into her own feelings (not to mention those of others). In all: an interesting setting, some attractive characters and a first-class heroine undermined by an excess of fancy plotting and psyche-searching.