Murders happen everywhere but when detective Peter Decker is the lead a case he’ll stop at nothing and question anyone to get the right person. Brady Neil’s body was found with his head smashed in. Several hooligans overturned seven mailboxes and after do their pranks and shenanigans saw the body but failed to report the death. Brady’s father and his partner are in prison for the murder of the owners of Levine’s Luscious Gems, Glen and Lydia. His father Brandon Gratz swears that he and his partner Kyle Masterson left them alive. But, Gregg Levine the son swore he saw them shoot his parents when hiding in a closet. Based on Gregg’s testimony and the gems in their possession they got twenty years and are up for parole the next year.
The plot becomes more involved as Decker takes the investigation in many directions leading back 20 years to the murders of the Levine’s hoping to connect with their son who claimed to have witnessed the murders but has yet to respond to his calls.
Vincent Baccus is Athena Chief if Police in Hamilton and jurisdiction for this case may revert back to him if things don’t pan out in Greenbury where Decker is housed. Jennifer Neil is the victim’s mother who presents a cold hearted and disjointed seriously defected figure of a mother estranged from both of her children. Oddly she speaks to Decker claiming her son was living in her basement but she never went down there and had little or no interaction with him. She claimed little knowledge of his friends or co-worker Jo aka Boxer/ Boch who worked with him at the electronics store. Added in Brady was into handling certain broken merchandise and doing deliveries and obviously Joseph was part of it and Brady seemed flushed with cash. Meeting his sister Brandy you realize the type of children they are and yet Decker wonders if their father has any connection to the present thinking he might have been framed.
Jaylene Boch was attacked in her own home and Joe is missing but she’s unfit to respond from her attack. Added in Decker is forced to have Chief Baccus’s daughter, Lenora on his team thinking she might be playing both sides but in reality she’s a good detective. However, why does she get pulled off?
With his team of Harvard/ aka McAdams, Butterfield, Tran from Hamilton and Rina his wife doing research, Decker gets information and finds himself wondering how all the pieces will finally fit together.
Learning about the Levine’s we find out about their partner the Flints who Greg learned were stealing from them and where they are now is still s mystery as they got away and disappeared right before sentencing.
Decker and Rina along with his team are delving into the lives of all the Neil’s and Levine’s and wondering why Brady’s mother is now the owner of a new IPhone and Kate Spade. Two communities so diverse yet riddled with similar crimes as author Faye Kellerman keeps the pressure on Decker, the suspicion on Baccus and the truth behind the murders and the investigation, as readers are tense to learn the truth.
Decker is relentless and so is Lennie even though her father suspended her she seemed bent on helping to find out who killed Brady and then someone not only broke into her apartment but her car too. Signing out the files for the Levine case put her in trouble with the force but she is determined to prove herself as a detective but can she really be trusted and when they looked at the files they were redacted. The Hamilton Police department and Radar his boss were not happy with his persistence and then two men claiming to be cops wound in Jaylene’s room and the nurse in charge did not think they might be bogus until Decker brought her into create a sketch to be passed around. Why is Baccus not thrilled with his probing and what are they hiding?
Taking a trip to see her mother and Rina’s in Florida gave him a chance to meet with someone that was able to identity one of the men in the photo but who exactly was this person and what was his connection to Brady and maybe even his father. Meeting with Brandon Gratz gave him little and the relationship with his son only started six months before and things will start to heat up even more. Just who else is in danger and what about Boxer is he dead? What about Jaylene? What can’t she remember and Brady’s mother seems to be hiding something too. What?
Links to the Levine murders come to light when the culprits are seen in photos and one is actually found but not before a hostage is taken and someone close to the Levine family is In danger of being killed. Lennie demands the chance to deal with the hostage situation and the final outcome will surprise readers and even Decker and her father. But, thinking that this man murdered Brady and Boxer he realizes that something is missing and the fact that he confessed to the robbery and the murders, this former cop was either covering for someone or lying just to get everyone off the track. Things take on a different turn when they learn the both Brady and Boxer not only wanted to blackmail Gregg Levine for lying about the murders and the robbery saying he saw Gratz and Masterson commit the murders making sure he had his story straight. Someone bombed Gregg’s car. Someone killed both Joseph and Brady. Someone claimed his father and Kyle did kill the Levine. The ending leaves us wondering just who did the blackmail, is someone else is still out there and just who really killed Brady and Joe. Added in we learn that part that Jaylene played and the truth about what she was always after comes to light as Decker learns who was really behind the murders of the Levine’s and you won’t believe who it is and the final ending leaves you wondering if the author plans a sequel to tie up lose ends? Who is guilty? Who was framed? How does this flashback to the boys who turned over the mailboxes and what they told Decker about Brady and Joe’s side business and of course selling weed and other drugs? A story about family loyalty, deceptions, lies, blackmail, betrayals and a town like Hamilton filled with so many people that did their own thing and hardly cared about the others living there while Greenbury seemed more cohesive and up scale as Decker finds himself embroiled in a case that takes him back to the beginning 20 years ago, stepping on toes, covering his tracks and proving that old-fashioned police work might solve a case. But, Baccus wants him out. Radar his boss doubts his findings and the outcome will change lives in both towns and a daughter will have to come to terms with her father’s demands or will she just stay off his radar and move on?
Who are the faces in the pictures? What are the Walking Shadows?
A great book filled with tension, fantastic cooking by Rina and McAdams who we hope she brings back as well as persistence on the part of Decker. Another blockbuster hit for Faye Kellerman.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine/MJ network