Frost makes good on the promise of Run the Risk (2005) as L.A. police detective Alex Delillo returns in a case as intricate as a diagrammed compound-complex sentence.
The novelist and TV writer (X-Files, Twin Peaks) gets going posthaste with revelations about Alex Delillo’s life. A caller from the morgue informs Delillo that her brother has been shot—quite a shock, especially considering she didn’t know she had a brother. Delillo’s brother died just after trying to send her a fax, which she receives with one page missing. Tracking the clerk who sent the fax, Delillo arrives at his store to find an LAPD detective shot dead. The detective, Delillo learns, had a file on her father that reveals he had been a suspect in a serial-murder case 20 years ago and that the victims’ bodies had been disposed of in the same place the body of Delillo’s brother turned up. Their father, a featured player in movies who never made the top tier, disappeared soon after divorcing their mother. Is he still alive? As L.A. fires fanned by Santa Ana winds threaten her home (a motif that’s a bit . . . overheated), Delillo teams with detective Dylan Harrison to uncover what links the events, and what she doesn’t know, or remember, about her father. Attempting to interview the frightened clerk who sent her brother’s fax, Delillo is thwarted when LAPD cops shoot him down. The cops insist he was about to pull a gun, but Delillo and Harrison sense the murders and others that follow are part of a cover-up related to the serial killings. They tie things up just about so, allowing for a twist too many at the end and just one loose thread.
Tight, tricky and wickedly complicated, with sharp, swiftly drawn characters.