Money buys a cover-up.
Still coming to grips with her brother’s murder six years ago, still in disfavor with the higher-ups at L.A.’s Parker Center for embarrassing them last time out (City of Fire, 2007), Lena Gamble is assigned the gruesome Cock-a-doodle-do homicide, a case Chief Logan and Lt. Klinger fervently hope will bring her down. The corpse’s face has been mashed and her body surgically dismembered. Was she one of the Cock-a-doodle-do whores killed by a john? Lena’s investigation leads her to billionaire Dean Tremell, head of Anders Dahl Pharmaceuticals, who spends his money tidying up after his profligate son Justin and greasing politicos and researchers to ensure his firm’s solvency. Meanwhile, the victim’s identity remains illusive; the woman she was claiming to be had actually died several years before. An anonymous tip from a witness-in-hiding sends Lena down more blind alleys. Internal Affairs keeps her under surveillance, and a reporter offers information, than reneges. More will die unpleasantly while the author reels off some potboiler plot tricks that eventually lead to two escapes and bring Lena to share a rueful glass of superior wine with a former adversary.
Lots of tech support—shoe prints, handwriting samples, etc.—for fans of procedurals and CSI to savor, along with enough bodies, buckets of blood and double-crosses to agitate conspiracy buffs, but interesting mainly as a possible screen vehicle for a distaff Bruce Willis.