When a local waitress and her five-year-old daughter are murdered, Wes Harding -- a former classmate of Kali's who had a reputation as the town's worst troublemaker -- becomes the prime suspect. Kali agrees to represent him, but is stunned when he refuses to help in his own defense, and won't explain why.
This is the second in the Kali O'Brien series.
Kali O'Brien, an attorney who left a big San Francisco law firm to open a solo practice in her small California home town, agrees to defend an accused killer whom she distrusts in this predictable story from the author of Murder Among Neighbors. Wes Harding, a handsome local man whom few townspeople like, has been accused of murdering waitress Lisa Cornell and her young daughter. Taking the case to please her mentor, who is a friend of the accused's father, Kali must contend with a hostile client, evidence that places him at the scene of the crime and the widely held belief that Harding is guilty. After extensive interviews with everyone from Lisa's wealthy fiance to her psychotherapist, Kali determines that the victim was not exactly what she seemed and determines that the killings may have been connected to an incident from her past. Kali is likable enough, but she remains two-dimensional and stereotyped. The plot moves quickly but pitches too many curves at the reader and comes to a disappointing halt with the revelation of the murderer and a cliched motive.