South Beach, Miami, Ali, a seventeen-year-old model was raped in the VIP room of a club by three men, George (an ex-boyfriend), an actor and a rich shop owner.
Sam Hagen, whose son, a model, died the year before in a motorcycle accident is asked to handle the case. His ambition to become state attorney (after the current one goes into politics) makes him accept.
Sam's wife is still grieving and searching for answers to their son death in religion, then in a lawsuit for wrongful death. In the mean time their daughter is confused and unhappy.
While separated from his wife, Sam had an affair with one of the rape witnesses, Catlin, a fashion photographer and friend of the victim. They find themselves talking again because of the case. Not long before his death, Sam's son, Stravos, had an affair with another model, Sullivan, also a witness in the rape case. Sam faces the fact that his son might have been gay.
Since the lives of the rape victim and of the perpetrators intermingle with his son's private and professional life, Sam alters his opinion about his son's death, even if he used to believe that it was no more than a drunk-driving accident caused by Stravos lifestyle.
Then a key witness to the rape gets murdered, followed by one of the perpetrators, and Sam has to wonder if he will be left with no case at all.
This report prepared by Lydie Barquet
St. Martin's, April 2003, 23.95, 288 pp.
Torie O'Shea loves living in the tourist town of New Kassel, Missouri with her husband and three children. She knows almost all the other residents and where the skeletons are buried because she is the Granite County archivist. What she doesn't know she can find out which is why she is so good at solving homicide investigations.
Due to the drought the Mississippi River is so low that for the first time since 1919 the steamboat the Phantom is visible. Rumor has it that there was a huge amount of diamonds on it when it went down and the journalists and even a university professor are looking for a good story. One night when Torie and her friend are out walking she hears a groan near where the boat is located and discovers the body of the college professor whose skull is bashed in. Using her investigative skills and information gathered from interviewees and out-of-state contacts, Torie learns why the Phantom sunk over five decades ago, but who the killer is remains to be solved.
In addition to working yet another homicide investigation, Torie must cope with the knowledge that she has a half-sister she never knew about, but she does both with an aplomb that will make her the envy of readers. Torie is one of the most likable heroines a reader will find because she loves her family and friends and is not afraid to show and act on her feelings. Rett MacPherson is a talented writer who provides a complex, multi-layered mystery.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner