In hot legal water—and court-ordered therapy—private investigator Tess Monaghan accepts an assignment with a local nonprofit organization to review police documents for inconsistencies and investigative blunders surrounding five unsolved Baltimore homicides. The cases seem unconnected except for the suspicion that each brutal death was the result of domestic violence.
But curiosity is soon pulling Tess off the paper trail and into dangerously unfamiliar territory, as she joins forces with a police officer obsessed with bringing a murderer down. Scant leads and intuitions are pointing the disgraced p.i. toward the most remote corners of Maryland, where a psychopath can hide as easily in the fabric of a tiny fishing community as in the alleys and shadows of Charm City. And a single, shocking common thread seems to be tying all the loose ends together into one bloody knot: Tess Monaghan herself.
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Baltimore PI Tess Monaghan knows what to do with a jerk who prowls the Internet looking for love in all the wrong places: pretend to be smitten, slip one of his own date-rape drugs into his drink, cover him with depilatory cream, and leave him in a public place so he'll be too ashamed to do it again. It's hard to follow an opening chapter like that, but Lippman manages it nicely, putting her smart-mouth series sleuth in court-ordered anger-management counseling. The sessions with her shrink spur a most uncharacteristic—-for Tess--reflection on five cold-case homicides she's investigating for a foundation lobbying for increased funding for domestic abuse programs. They don't seem to be connected, but with the help of the retired Toll Facilities cop who discovered the head of one of the victims in the middle of his bridge, Tess discovers a serial killer no one even knew existed--until he made Tess his next target. This is the seventh outing in a lively, original series that keeps getting better and better. --Jane AdamsAbout the Author:
Laura Lippman is the author of eleven novels featuring Baltimore private detective Tess Monaghan, seven stand-alone novels, and a short story collection. Her six most recent books have all been New York Times bestsellers. Lippman has won numerous literary prizes for her work, including the Edgar®, Anthony, Nero Wolfe, Agatha, Gumshoe, Barry, and Macavity Awards. A recent recipient of the first-ever Mayor's Prize, she lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, David Simon; their daughter; and her stepson.
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