Boston p.i. Angie Matelli (The Good Daughter, 1994), several years out of the Marines, is surprised by a call from Ev Morrow, her superior officer and mentor in the Corps. Ev has flown in from California to look for his missing 14-year-old daughter Edie, and he wants Angie's help. Some months back, Edie's hard-drinking mother Earlene, whom Ev divorced years ago, had defied court orders and disappeared with his daughter. All Ev's efforts to trace the two had failed until an abruptly ended phone call from Edie the week before was traced to the Boston area. Angie's routine investigations quickly locate Edie in a suburban school, but she hasn't been in class for a week. Her teacher is sure she's grieving over the death of her best friend, Rachel McCarthy, whose body washed up on a nearby beach days before. When Angie visits the grungy house where Edie lives with her unreformed mother, she finds that Earlene hasn't seen the girl for a week but is sure she's gone back to her father. Meantime, Earlene shares her digs with slatternly waitress Bobbie, whose lovers are eventually questioned by the police and pass lie detector tests. Suspects are thin on the ground, but Angie manages to accomplish her mission, nailing a killer in the process. The author works hard, but with little success, to breathe life into Angie; her large, uningratiating family; and a clunky, unmanageable plot: a dull and drowsy second outing.