Working as an independent astrologer brings its own rewards for Julia Bonatti. But, when money is tight and a close friend needs someone to cover for his executive secretary for a week, Julia jumps right in and takes on the task of helping David Myers. Entering the office and trying to get acclimated she meets some lawyers within the firm and not everyone is friendly. Nora Layton is brash, crass and definitely not anyone Julia wants to get to know yet she’s here for a reason to help with the workload but that doesn’t last very long. Within minutes she hears a scream and then someone yelling, as they enter the office of Jack Harding learning he’s been murdered. David Myers takes control and closes his office to protect the crime scene, calls the police and from this point on things get really interesting as Julia finds herself knee deep in the investigation.
Sergeant Ralph Sullivan arrives with Officer Nick Ray and they take control of the situation explaining the process that’s involved and questioning everyone present before allowing them to leave.
Julia works at Mystic Eye as an astrologer along with her friend Cheryl. Gale Hymson has her own art gallery and is about to have a showing of pieces created by someone named Paolo who we will learn more about later on in the story as the murder, his identity, and several close to the case will link together before all is said and done. Learning that Jack, Harvey and Suzanne all working at this firm got threatening letters yet never saying anything as each one will learn in different ways that someone is out to destroy them and possibly the firm.
Gloria her grandmother is aware of the murder and is concerned about her welfare and she is also going to have a special birthday party created by her boyfriend Kuan. David Myers officially asked Julia to see if using her astrological charts and her expertise in that area to snoop around and see if she can weed out information about anyone in his office and possibly a killer. Going through the files once she receives them she started with Jack Harding and learned he was once married to Hilary Greene and had a sister named Sarah. Learning more about them and meeting both there is no love lost and Sarah although she might profit from her brother’s death did not blink an eye or shed one tear. Her son needed help and she needed money for his rehab and refused to help her out. Her son committed suicide and she blames Jack. His ex-wife gives another story but nothing kind about Jack yet we will learn that there are others in his office that he was able to lure and definitely many enemies too.
As you meet each member of the firm you will learn that each one has his/her own agenda and although they are dealing with case files along with their paralegal Dani Nichols, no one seems that shook up about his death.
Meeting Sarah and then Hilary and then questioning the members of the firm Julia begins to put her charts together to see where each one’s planets are, what is influencing their movements and whether something from the past will force them into action in the present whether good or bad. Julia meets Adam Schaffer the private investigator who is linked to helping with the case and who seems to like Julia. Things take on different turns as Julia as she investigates more becomes a target of a killer and she seems to feel that the killer is female and someone in the law firm. One partner seems to be dealing with someone on a case she is handling ,which is illegal and can get her disbarred. Julia finds herself following this person and she also goes back to the office to check on information to be stonewalled by the guards but this action could prove deadly.
Nora Layton, Suzanne Simms, Dani Nichols and the others all have something to hide but what? Dani thought that Suzanne and Jack were more than just co-workers and that having an affair with Jack would that point the finger at her? Nora had medical records for prescription drugs in her file but why?
The author reminds us that Julia was engaged to Michael and that he was killed by in a car accident rushing to see her and his mother has never forgiven her yet his sister, Maggie hopes that someday they will learn who the person was that ran him over.
Adam appears to want to help her and each time she asks him to look up someone he comes through as she learns that the man Gale is seeing has a link to Hilary Greene and you won’t believe what that link is and who Paolo really is? Things spiral out of control when another partner is killed and Suzanne disappears and things begin to point in many different directions as we read the charts of the people in the law firm and Julia explains their significance and how to read them. Then we learn the significance of the title and the Dragon at her grandmother’s birthday party. “ The dragon represents celebration but still there is something sinister in the eyes and fangs of the huge papier-mache head. The dragon is welcomed everywhere because it brings good fortune. Dragons possess great power and wisdom and the longer the dragon, the more luck. They had a smaller dragon with five joints. If this were was a religious ceremony, the dragon’s head and tail would have to be burned and the body stored until next year. Adam seems supportive and is always checking up on her and even going to dinner with him and David she seemed to fall for him. Things take on more dangerous turns as she is hit over the head and knocked out in the street, her apartment is ransacked and she is goes back to the office to investigate something and faces off with a deadly killer. Using her charts and a text from her contact at the Chronicle she learns the harsh truth about someone hiding in plain sight. Trapped and the office about to burn as she smells smoke will she figure out a way to escape and save herself? Just who is the mastermind behind the killings and what happened to Suzanne? Author Connie DiMarco creates a plot filled with many intertwining stories that lead back to a fire that happened in the past and the person that was accused of it but never really did pay the price.
Lies, betrayals, revenge, greed, deceit, disloyalties, hate, hope, family trust are some of the issues brought out in this novel. Jack Harding had many people that disliked him but someone wanted to make sure that he, Harvey and Suzanne and possibly others paid for something from the past that would not let this person life a happy life in the present.
Then we learn that someone found a picture of the car that hit Michael and hoping to meet the detective on the case what happens will not bring Julia the closure she hoped for. Will she ever find out who killed Michael and will she ever move on? The author shares the significance of the Dragon and how it comes into play in the charts and how she figured out who the killer was and the explanation will shock readers. Just think that you life and your goals, your future and past link to your birth date, time and place of your birth and the events that follow have to do with the your astrological chart. Who pushed her into traffic? Who ransacked her apartment? Who was hiding in the office the first time she went back to check on something? Who did she face when she demanded that the guards allow her back up to the 41st floor even though they were told not to let anyone on the floor? Murder, mayhem, costume parties, art shows and a plot that will keep you guessing till the final reveal and hoping that Julia will make the connection before the killer strikes her down. When you read page 319 the author will reveal the significance of the dragon and then you too might decide to call on Julia for a reading and learn just what your future holds. Beware of the Tail of the Dragon!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJnetwork/MJ magazine