In this legal thriller from the New York Times–bestselling author of Against the Wind, breaking into a mansion for a laugh turns into a sobering crime.
Maria Estrada, a hard-partying girl with family ties to some of the toughest gangsters in California, had no idea an old mansion could be so beautiful. The boy who broke into it with her had a feeling she might be impressed. But by the time the night is over, Maria has been brutally killed, and the boy is nowhere to be found. It’s up to PI Kate Blanchard and Luke Garrison, a criminal lawyer, to decipher what happened in the grand old mansion. To bring Maria’s killer to justice, they must locate the elusive connection between the poverty where she was raised and the affluence of where she died.
Set in Southern California, this legal thriller from Freedman (Against the Wind) opens with a brutal date rape and murder. After the victim's corpse is found on the grounds of the estate of Juanita McCoy, one of Santa Barbara's leading citizens, suspicion soon focuses on one of the few people to have access to the area, her hunky grandson, Steven McCoy. When Steven's prints are found on the murder weapon, he's charged, and the author's series characters, former DA Luke Garrison and single-mom PI Kate Blanchard, are enlisted in his defense. Readers expecting gripping courtroom scenes will feel cheated that the murder trial's highlights-the testimony of the accused and Garrison's summation-are disposed of in a few summary sentences.