This latest Tess Monaghan adventure is a tough read because the woman the private eye is hired to handle security for, Melisandre Harris Dawes, is a very unappealing person. After being acquitted of the death of her infant daughter due to post-partum psychosis, Dawes tries to reunite with her two other children.
Tess and her partner, Sandy Sanchez, have very mixed emotions about their client and what she hopes to do after coming out of hiding where she’s been for a number of years. Not only does Dawes not inspire much sympathy but her motives also are somewhat suspect.
To complicate matters, she is supposedly being stalked, her personal trainer is poisoned and then her husband, the man who cares for her daughters, is killed. Naturally, at the top of the suspect list is this rather unappealing woman!
Already an impossible situation, Tess finds she’s never had to deal with anyone quite like this person and the discomfort she feels may hinder any assistance she can provide. The manipulative woman who committed an unthinkable crime got off last time because she was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity. Is that where this situation headed? And, more to the point, does Tess really want to be involved with this person?
You’ll find yourself as emotionally torn by this investigation as Tess is, which means this will be an unforgettable read and one you won’t quickly forget. This is Laura Lippman at her best!
The award-winning New York Times bestselling author of After I’m Gone, The Most Dangerous Thing, I’d Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know brings back private detective Tess Monaghan, introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues, in an absorbing mystery that plunges the new parent into a disturbing case involving murder and a manipulative mother.
On a searing August day, Melisandre Harris Dawes committed the unthinkable: she left her two-month-old daughter locked in a car while she sat nearby on the shores of the Patapsco River. Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, although there was much skepticism about her mental state. Freed, she left the country, her husband and her two surviving children, determined to start over.
But now Melisandre has returned Baltimore to meet with her estranged teenage daughters and wants to film the reunion for a documentary. The problem is, she relinquished custody and her ex, now remarried, isn’t sure he approves.
Now that’s she’s a mother herself—short on time, patience—Tess Monaghan wants nothing to do with a woman crazy enough to have killed her own child. But her mentor and close friend Tyner Gray, Melisandre’s lawyer, has asked Tess and her new partner, retired Baltimore P.D. homicide detective Sandy Sanchez, to assess Melisandre’s security needs.
As a former reporter and private investigator, Tess tries to understand why other people break the rules and the law. Yet the imperious Melisandre is something far different from anyone she’s encountered. A decade ago, a judge ruled that Melisandre was beyond rational thought. But was she? Tess tries to ignore the discomfort she feels around the confident, manipulative Melisandre. But that gets tricky after Melisandre becomes a prime suspect in a murder.
Yet as her suspicions deepen, Tess realizes that just as she’s been scrutinizing Melisandre, a judgmental stalker has been watching her every move as well. . . .