A Song for You
St. Martin’s, Sep 2008, $24.95
Seventeen years ago in Dudley, Arizona, Rachel Macabee comes home to find her mother Annie lying in bed with her face blown away. The police arrested her mom’s boyfriend Kurt because he lent Annie Glenn his gun, which turned out to be the murder weapon. Rachel never believed he shot her mom and was pleased when he was acquitted. Except for testifying at his trial, she never returned to Dudley.
A nice couple buys a home in Dudley when the monsoon rains ruin a retaining wall. They hire people to dig out the dirt only to find a human skeleton buried there. The remains are identified as Wynn Wyckoff, who performed in the same band as Annie did. Rachel sees the obvious connection and hires private investigator Bryan Flynn to look into her mother’s cold case murder. Since he is busy at the moment, his new employee and ex girlfriend, former victim’s advocate Chloe Newcombe leads the inquiry; Chloe is leaving the job she loved due to an incompetent interfering political hack new supervisor. They work separately on the case seeking clues to the homicides and hoping they can bring closure to Rachel, who just came home, but remains traumatized after all these years and in spite of the love of her father and her husband.
This is an exciting private investigative whodunit enhanced by colorful secondary characters who the readers meet mostly through the inquiries of Chloe and to a degree Bryan especially in Dudley. Although there are too many points of view and the ending seems inadequate, Chloe makes the tale work as she learns on the job how to interview, find clues, and survive; all part of remedial private investigation 099. Fans will enjoy her efforts as her work coupled with Rachel’s return to Dudley place both in peril from a clever just out of sight ever watching killer.