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The murder of an ex-drug dealer ex-con—gunned down on his mother's doorstep—seems just another turf war fatality. Why then has Seattle homicide investigator J.P. Beaumont been instructed to keep this assignment hush-hush? Meanwhile, Beau's lover and fellow cop, Mel Soames, is involved in her own confidential investigation. Registered sex offenders from all over Washington State are dying at an alarming rate—and not all due to natural causes.
A metropolis the size of Seattle holds its fair share of brutal crime, corruption, and dirty little secrets. But when the separate trails they're following begin to shockingly intertwine, Beau and Mel realize that they have stumbled onto something bigger and more frightening than they anticipated—a deadly conspiracy that's leading them to lofty places they should not enter . . . and may not be allowed to leave alive.
In bestseller Jance's complex, overlong 18th J.P. Beaumont novel (after Long Time Gone), the Seattle special homicide investigator works three cases simultaneously. The first involves the murder of a wrongly imprisoned ex-con, the second the disappearance of a whistle-blowing electronics engineer who vanished the day Mount Saint Helen's erupted in 1980, the third the deaths of several former felons. Meanwhile, Mel Soames, Beau's female colleague and lover, looks into the unexplained deaths of recently released sex crimes perpetrators as well as the disappearance of a childhood friend's abusive father. Unbelievably, all Beaumont's and Mel's assignments meld into one, except for the case of the missing engineer. The detectives are helped by the delightful Todd Hatcher, a young forensic economist and statistical analyst, but the exceptionally busy plot, host of characters, incredible coincidences, ignored clues and red herrings add up to a less than stellar effort from the usually reliable Jance.