The cruel and bizarre slaying of a beautiful teen leads Detective Decker into the dark heart of an exotic subculture: the seamy, sometimes violent world of Southern California's rootless, affluent youth. But even the confession of a disturbed kid with cold "killer eyes" cannot soothe Decker's inner torment. For he knows in his gut this crime goes much deeper and higher than anyone expects -- and that true justice, brutal and complete, has yet to be done.
The eighth appearance of LAPD homicide detective Peter Decker and his wife, Rina Lazarus, will likely increase her constituency as she concentrates more on the case at hand and less on the Jewish law and lore that rises from Rina's Orthodox Jewish background and informs the Decker family life. Chris Whitman, a high-school senior with a hidden past and close ties to his uncle--a powerful Mafia don--has some kinky notions of sexual games. He tries them with his very Catholic and proper (yes, virginal) classmate, Terry, with whom he is obsessed. Trouble begins when Chris's less constrained former girlfriend is found bound and dead in a tawdry hotel the morning after the prom, with evidence suggesting her involvement in a wild night of drugs and sex with multiple partners, including Chris. The youth's confession, coming after Decker discovers photographs that could compromise Terry's reputation, leaves Decker uncomfortable. So does his chief's suggestion that conflicting forensic evidence be given low priority. Decker, fighting some demons of his own, continues investigating even after the case is considered solved, and Uncle Joey, none too happy with Chris or Terry, executes his own brand of revenge. Surprising twists and engaging subplots will keep readers turning the pages to the satisfying conclusion.