Dr. Alex Delaware is a psychiatrist consulting to the Superior Court system. He has been asked to evaluate two young, teenage, killers of a toddler. They're accused of kidnapping the little girl right out from under her mother's nose and thrill killling her. Alex finds the two killers share desperately bad backgrounds, that nurture alone may explain their awful deed. However, one, Troy is a small, evil, manipulative boy who seems by nature prone to such a murder. Contrasting with Troy, Rand, is a big, dull, very low intellegence boy easily led into crime, even to murder. A plea deal results in the two boys being sent to California Youth Authority for terms of up to twelve years.
Now it is twelve years hence. Out of nowhere the low functioning boy, Rand, calls Alex on the phone and asks to meet, to talk about something, to tell Alex that he, Rand, is "not a bad person." Alex cautiously agrees to the mee, but Rand never shows. By morning the young man's body has been found at a freeway onramp. He's been shot through the temple. Murdered. Dr. Delaware is sweiftly drawn into the police investigation by his own connection to the case and the fate of the boys. He quickly renews a working relationship with Detective Leiutenant Milo, a gay police investigator. Together they begin to unravel Rand's murder. Revenge? Coincidence?
The twists and complications begin to pile up and a real, twisting, turning, psychological thriller emerges. Troy was murdered too, only weeks after entering CYA, twelve years previously. A platoon of characters and suspects emerge. Little Kristal's mom and dad get a look-but mom was a suicide months after the trial. A youngish couple, religious mininsty advocates keep coming into the story. Alex has a sometimes girl friend and she has needs, she enters the story. It becomes clear that other crimes, molest, fraud, theft are connected to the murders of Rand and of Kristal. The story rambles over the San Fernando Valley, West L.A. the nearby desert communities, and finally reaches a conclusion in the urban forest of the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area-a verdcant, lovely park.
This report prepared by Stephen M. Galvin