Author: Jodi Compton
Original language: English
Sarah Pribek, a Minneapolis missing persons detective, is under suspicion. Investigated but not yet charged in the arson murder of the man who raped and killed her best friend’s daughter, she’s protecting the identity of the real perpetrator, even though a zealous prosecutor is closing in and threatening to indict her. With her husband in jail in Wisconsin for a crime related to the same case (only alluded to briefly here, but fully explicated in The 37th Hour, the first in the series featuring Pribek), the detective finds herself involved in two other assignments where the line between justice and the law is also murky. When the eldest daughter of reclusive novelist Hugh Hennessy enlists her aid in finding the twin brother mysteriously sent away by her father several years earlier, Sarah agrees to investigate, even though there’s no indication that Aidan Hennessy left his last foster home except of his own volition, and as far as Sarah can detrermine, the 17-year-old has committed no crimes. When the elder Hennessy is felled by a stroke, Sarah finds herself appointed as temporary guardian of his children, at least until Marlinchen, the daughter, comes of age and can be appoointed their guardian and Hugh’s conservator. And the more time Sarah spends with the family, the more certain she is that Aidan isn’t who he and his siblings think he is, although she’s reluctant to add to the family’s travails by seeking the evidence to support her hunch.
She’s just as hesitant to make an arrest in her other case-that of a charismatic quadriplegic suspected of practicing medicine illegally. Sarah’s relationship with Cisco Ruiz is a complex one, and in the telling of it, Compton brings into sharp relief the moral quandaries that challenge her protagonist. This is a well-plotted mystery with characters who resonate in the reader’s consciousness long after the last page is turned, intelligently plotted and deftly crfafted. -Jane Adams