Sarasota process server Lew Fonesca (Midnight Pass, 2003, etc.) never smiles even on good days, but his caseload this time has made him more withdrawn than ever.
Apart from the routine summonses Lew serves for Marie Knot, Esq., sadder cases keep finding him in pairs. Elderly Dorothy Cgnozik wants him to figure out just who she saw being murdered late one night at the Seaside Assisted Living Center. Amos Trent, the center’s director, is such an obvious sleaze that the quest looks promising, but Lew finds to his frustration that all four clients who left Seaside that night are duly accounted for. If Dorothy’s accusations simply meet repeated denials, Lew’s other charge promises more fireworks. Local actress Nancy Root wants him to find the man who ran over her son Kyle McClory, 14, and then took off. What looks like a routine accident soon darkens into something more, with Lew caught between a police detective who doesn’t want him interfering in a case he’s doing nothing to close; Nancy and her ex, who make it clear that they want their son avenged in blood; and the hit-and-run driver, who keeps phoning Lew not so much to threaten as to plead.
Compelling in Lew’s unobtrusively sensitive way, though it looks as if his fifth case, when he searches for the driver who ran down his own wife in Chicago four years ago, will be the big one.