Dugoni centers a high-speed murder mystery around infidelity and jealousy.
In his second workmanlike thriller (after The Jury Master, 2006), Dugoni goes feminine. This time out, his overworked, brilliant lawyer-protagonist is Dana Hill, and her woes include a cheating husband and a lump in her breast. Keeping up with doctors’ appointments while holding down a demanding job at a top Seattle firm is bad enough. But as the story opens, Dana’s ambitious, and often absent, husband has stopped taking care of their adorable three-year-old, Molly, so when Dana’s twin brother James calls with a problem, she brushes him off. Her shock is augmented by guilt the next day, when James is found dead. Unlike her, he had left the fast-track legal career that had helped destroy their parents’ marriage for a more rewarding, if less lucrative, life as an academic. So why would anyone want to kill this gentle soul? And could it have anything to do with the expensive earring Dana finds in his bedroom? With the aid of handsome and gentle detective Mike Logan, the lovely Dana with the sparkling blue eyes determines to find out. But several blind spots threaten to trip up this thriller in its enjoyable rush toward resolution. Why, for example, would a woman who has been nearly killed twice (once by a car bomb), and who is in hiding, open a front door without first checking the identity of the visitor? And would a devoted mom and workaholic like Dana really drop all her responsibilities to fly to Hawaii to follow a clue? No matter. Although the personal resolutions are telegraphed early on, the plot twists keep the pages turning despite leaden dialogue and comic-book characterizations of the men, good and bad, in Dana’s life.
With its romantic underpinnings, this pleasant escapism should serve to divert some female readers.