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Single mother Billie August is frustrated with her boss and sleuthing mentor, the gruff, perpetually dissatisfied Emma Howe. So far, their relationship has been a personal and professional disaster. To top it off, Billie seems like the only person in town who thinks mentally disabled Gavin Riddock, accused of killing his only friend, might not be guilty, but her inability to turn up any hard evidence could cost Gavin everything. Now, illness at home and dead ends at work have frayed Billie's nerves. The last thing she needs is to come across Emma Howe in the warpath.
Meanwhile, Emma's search for one girl's really mother is being foiled at every turn by the lies and misdirection of the girl's foster mother. When new clues suggest the case may have something to do with Gavin Riddock, seasoned Emma will have to learn to trust her young assistant, and together, mentor and protege must unravel the layers of posh Marin society to uncover the startling truth...
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Gillian Roberts is well known for her Amanda Pepper series. This is her second book in a new series to feature Howe and August. She lives in Marin County, California, with her husband.
Flat characters and sketchy plotting mar this second installment (after 1998's Time and Trouble) of Anthony Award winner Roberts's series featuring Tiburon, Calif., PI Emma Howe and her assistant, Billie August. Defense attorney Michael Specht hires Emma to look into the case of Gavin Riddock, a mentally handicapped young man who's been arrested for the murder of his only friend, Tracy Lester. The evidence against Gavin is circumstantial but compelling, and his social awkwardness means that there are few people who haven't already convicted him in their hearts. Frustrated with unproductive interviews, Emma turns the case over to Billie for a fresh perspective. Billie wants to prove herself to her aloof, demanding boss, but she must juggle the competing demands of being a single mother and a competent PI. Meanwhile, Emma tries to locate the birth mother of another client and soon finds herself threading her way through the adoptive mother's lies and misdirections. The tension between Emma and Billie is engaging, but the other characters are one-dimensional. The author's presentation of the murder investigation is perfunctory and sometimes illogical; readers don't get the sense that it is building to a real understanding of what happened. The investigators themselves are unbelievably slow in picking up obvious clues, while the final resolution comes by means of a deus ex machina. This one's unlikely to make new converts to the series.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Minotaur Books, 2002. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX031298359X
Book Description Minotaur Books, 2002. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M031298359X