Leisure, Nov 2007, $7.99, 350 pp.
San Diego police detective Ken Goode wants more than anything to be transferred to the homicide division so when he ultimately stumbles over the body of a dead woman he thinks she is his ticket to getting what he desires. His attitude changes when he comes to “know “the victim Tania Marcus who attracted men in droves, some of them walking on the wrong side of the law. He learns that she attended Head Forward School of Hair Design and that she planed to open an “escort” service that will cater to men and women.
A couple of days later Sharona, a girl who attends the same school is found dead in the same manner. Through good old fashioned police work Goode finds a connection between the two women and how the Pumphouse, a bar where drugs are sold house works and two men Seth and Keith who are suspected drug dealers and knew the two women. When Keith is murdered Goode knows all three murders are connected and he believes they were all killed by the same person. However, finding the link and the killer isn’t easy; as different suspects have diverse motives for killing only one of the victims with no one having reasons for three homicides.
Caitlin Rother’s first novel is an excellent police procedural that will appeal to fans of Nancy Taylor Rosenberg and Christine McGuire. The investigation contains red herrings, wrong paths taken and misdirection and that makes the reader feel they are accompanying the protagonist. Goode is an honest police officer whose motive for solving the case changes from wanting a transfer to solving the crimes as he gets to know the victims.