You can run, but you can’t hide, reporter AnnaLise Griggs discovers when her ex-lover shows up in her North Carolina hometown just in time to see his wife murdered.
AnnaLise came back to sleepy Sutherton to help her mom, Daisy, cope with random bouts of memory loss (Running on Empty, 2011). Putting miles between herself and her blown-over affair with Urban County, Wis., District Attorney Ben Rosewood was just a little bonus. So the crime reporter is less than pleased when Ben shows up at Mama Philomena’s on Main Street just as Daisy’s taping up the day’s lunch specials next to a flyer for next month’s Woolly Worm Festival in nearby Banner Elk. He swears he’s there only to drop off his daughter, Suzanne, at nearby University of the Mountain. And sure enough, he’s got Suzanne in tow, followed by his wife, Tanja, in her bright yellow Porsche—the same yellow Porsche Police Chief Chuck Greystone spots at the bottom of the gorge below the Sutherton Bridge while he’s rescuing AnnaLise from the effects of following Daisy’s not-quite-legal shortcut to Ida Mae Babb’s mountaintop chalet. Ben takes Tanja’s death hard, accusing everyone in sight of complicity: Joy Tamarack, owner of the spa where Tanja enjoyed a glass of wine shortly before her plunge from the bridge; Josh Eames, the handyman dating Suzanne who rushed to the scene of AnnaLise’s wipeout; even AnnaLise herself. But when mechanic Earl Lawling finds a bullet in the Porsche’s wheel well, it’s clear to Chuck that he’s looking for a coldblooded killer.
Balzo’s cases for AnnaLise pack the punch that her Maggy Thorsen tales lack, swapping a tepid cup of coffee for a bracing belt of chardonnay.