An investigative journalist deals with her inner demons while helping her cousin deal with a much more concrete threat.
Still reeling from her brutal kidnapping (Burden of Truth, 2013), Birdie Keane accepts a therapeutic regimen few would tolerate: no booze, regular exercise, healthy eating and publishing a series of investigative reports that expose her late father for the dirty cop he was. As her family offers support, her cousin Thom reveals that he’s fighting for his professional life. Lt. Lance Craig, his boss, refuses to take him off a murder investigation even though Craig knows that keeping Thom as lead investigator will make the case impossible to prosecute. Twelve hours before Jelena Shkatova reported finding her former foster parents and their latest charges shot to death in their beds, she and Thom met in a bar and went out to his car to consummate their hookup. Why his boss keeps him on a case after he admits sleeping with a suspect is just one of the questions Thom can’t wrap his mind around. So his cousin helps him, using her computer skills to probe for motive and opportunity for what’s turning into a series of late-night assassinations. Is it germane that all the victims lived in rent-stabilized homes that charged far less than Los Angeles’ overheated housing market would typically command? Did foster dad Dominic Lawrence’s work as a city attorney put him in someone’s cross hairs? As Birdie helps Thom, her new love, Ron Hughes, helps Birdie cope with the ghost of Matt Whelan, the man she still pines over.
Nolan continues what promises to be a long and lovingly crafted saga about the strains and gains of love and loyalty.