An uncle-nephew private eye team takes on dual cases involving the rape of a 17-year-old girl and a probable murder in this second volume of a mystery series.
The newest client for Dallas private investigators Jack Crocker and his sister’s ex-Marine son, Jimmy McGuire, is Ben Rogers, insurance company CFO. Ben wants to hire the gumshoes to find the McMillan University students who raped his teen daughter, Robyn, at a campus party. Cops and campus security have been no help, and Robyn, scared and withdrawn, offers scarce details on her assailants. Moreover, someone’s taunting her by sending videos and photos of her attack that disappear seconds later. Before they can make headway, Jack and Jimmy catch another case: Pastor J.D. Finley’s convinced his brotherly cousin Jackson Parks’ death wasn’t an accidental overdose or suicide, but murder instead. Oddly enough, an assistant district attorney who’s also died mysteriously was second chair for a decades-old murder trial on which Jackson was the sole black juror. And just out of prison is the man wrongfully convicted of said crime, perhaps craving retribution. The detectives alternate between the cases, determined to stop the rapists from hurting anyone else, as well as someone on a potential killing spree. Langer (Hide & Seek, 2014, etc.) deftly weaves the two cases, with Jack and Jimmy moving between them with interrogations, research, and stakeouts. The story wisely focuses a bit more on Robyn’s assault, with ample coverage of how the teen and her family are affected. Ben’s rage, for one, may add too much fuel to an already tense situation, and Robyn contemplates seeking no justice as a way to move past her trauma. The teen’s plot alone could have carried the entire thriller, but the risk factor’s boosted considerably with the likelihood of a killer on the loose. Meanwhile, the curious detectives, who live and work together, have contrasting personal lives: Jack tries repairing his relationship with his estranged wife, Crystal, while Jimmy’s hoping for a fresh romance.
Thoroughly engrossing, both the investigators and their investigations.