At age twenty-seven, former kidnapping victim Palmer Reed has settled comfortably into her life in suburban Knoxville, Tennessee. That is, until she is recruited onto the board of Tennessee's prestigious Diamond Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping the victims of crime. Reuniting with the board's chairman, a woman known as "The Vindicator" who helped rescue Palmer twenty years ago from the hands of their mutual enemy, Palmer is cast into the Foundation's society of country clubs, elite galas, and fundraisers. She and the chairman grow close, and the chairman becomes her mentor, teaching her the finer points of running a successful non-profit. During this time Palmer also runs into her old flame, a detective on the Knoxville P.D., who has always been suspicious of "The Vindicator's" activities.
Being a former victim - and survivor - the Foundation's cause to help the victims of crime is close to Palmer's heart. But when Palmer learns the Foundation's secret method for raising money is something sinister - the blackmail of criminals escaping more conventional methods of justice - and worse, discovers the chairman's, now her mentor's, plan to take justice to a whole new level, she has to decide - is a charitable cause worth killing for?
In her secret investigation, Palmer discovers that several criminals who have escaped the justice system on technicalities are now dead, all at the hands of convenient accidents. She knows her mentor is having them killed, but can't go to the police when the mentor sets her up for the murder of another Diamond Foundation director, also the protagonist's best friend. Now Palmer has to prove to her old flame she's not a killer, all the while proving that her mentor is.
This pits Palmer against her mentor, her mentor's hitman, and her prior enemy, the man who was responsible for her kidnapping twenty years prior. In her qwest to prove her innocence, and her new lover's innocence, she solves a twenty year old unsolved murder and cleverly outwits her mentor at her own game.
This report prepared by Lori Lacefield