Once upon a time, Emily Locke had a happy life with her
husband and little girl. Now her husband is dead, murdered
by the men who kidnapped her daughter for an adoption
scheme. And although Annette was returned safely, she now
thinks of the couple who ended up adopting her as her real
parents, setting up a delicate and painful triangle.
Emily now works with Richard Cole, a private investigator
in Houston. Their new client, socialite Claire Gaston, is
accused of murdering a local plastic surgeon, and
immediately annoys Emily with her arrogant attitude. But
when Claire confesses her fear about losing her children to
a nasty ex-husband, Emily sees behind the façade and can
certainly empathize. Then she discovers that Claire's
attorney is the same lawyer who successfully defended her
husband's killer -- a bit of intel that Richard
conveniently omitted when briefing her.
Despite her loathing for Mick Young and her complete lack
of experience moving in the world of the rich and powerful,
Emily is determined to help Claire, even when it becomes
clear she was never a candidate for Mother of the Year.
Along the way Emily must juggle entertaining her flighty
friend Jeannie, who's more interested in manicures than
mysteries; bonding with Annette in the few hours she can
spend with the little girl; and spending some quality time
with her new boyfriend, Vince.
I enjoyed this mystery, the second in a series; mostly
because Emily is someone I would like to get to know. Even
with her tragic backstory, she's refreshingly down to earth
and practical. Her exasperation with Jeannie (and
Jeannie's "help" with the case) provides some lighter
moments; the scenes with Annette tug at the heartstrings;
and the heat slowly builds with Vince -- all of which
combine for a nice blend of personal story and mystery that
kept me entertained, as well as intrigued.
Single mom Emily Locke is building a new life with her
daughter. Hoping to spend more time at home, she's put her
career on hold to work part-time for her private
investigator friend, Richard Cole. It's a nice balance
between work and family until Emily finds out she's been
working for the attorney that defended her husband's
killer. The discovery nearly destroys her friendship with
Richard, but Emily resists abandoning his client, the
socialite Claire Gaston, who awaits trial for the murder
of a local plastic surgeon. The threat of losing her
children to a self-serving ex-husband terrifies Claire
more than the specter of a life behind bars.
to a mother's fears and unconvinced of Claire's guilt,
Emily resolves to stick with the case despite her growing
concerns about Richard and the dubious attorney who hired
him. A mysterious note leads her into a daring undercover
ruse at a high brow ladies health club. Impervious to
fashion trends, disinterested in beauty treatments, Emily
fakes conformity with Houston's elite debutantes and
trophy wives in a surreal fitness subculture where things,
and people, are seldom what they seem. At this gym, killer
workout has a whole new meaning.