Nina Reilly gets a rest, and everybody else gets seriously overworked.
While Lake Tahoe’s star attorney-at-law lies fallow after a skein of 11 legal thrillers (Case of Lies, 2005, etc.), trouble busts out in bunches around Topanga Canyon. It’s those nice young Jacksons, Leigh and Ray—he the rising architect, she the brilliant furniture designer. Once they were a golden couple, a paradigm of domestic compatibility, admired and envied. He built a house for her; she gave him free rein, even to choosing the furniture (not hers). Now, shockingly, it looks like splitsville or worse, since Leigh has inexplicably vanished, a fact that causes consternation among her parents, her businesses associates, the cops and, perhaps most importantly, Kat Tinsley, her erstwhile best friend. Oddly enough, the one person who doesn’t seem unsettled is Ray, which unsettles the daylights out of Kat. Though the friendship has cooled considerably in recent years, Kat, loyal to the memory of the way it was, is determined to come to Leigh’s aid, whatever that turns out to require. And after some counterproductive romantic dithering, some digressive and melodramatic twists and turns and a truly Gothic dénouement, she does.
There’s the usual O’Shaughnessy overplotting, but without the saving grace of a certain sharp, tough, yet sweetly feminine protagonist. Won’t you come home, Nina Reilly?