This edge-of-the-seat thriller from Shamus Award–winning author Lynn Hightower plunges Cincinnati homicide detective Sonora Blair into a case with a high-profile suspect—and a chilling link to an unsolved murder
There are times when Sonora Blair hates being a cop—for instance, the day distraught husband and father of two Butch Winchell walks into the Cincinnati PD to report his wife missing. A mutilated corpse has been found along Interstate 75 between Kentucky and Tennessee, and the body parts might belong to Julia Winchell. Eight years earlier, when Julia was a student at the University of Cincinnati, she witnessed a murder. When the body disappeared, no one believed her. But Julia never forgot it, and was compiling notes and articles that would point the finger at a shocking suspect.
District Attorney Gabe Caplan is Cincinnati’s golden boy—a champion of the underdog, a defender of law and order, and a man shadowed by a tragic past. Eight years ago, his pregnant wife was brutally murdered, leaving behind their two-year-old daughter. Now Gabe is on the verge of scoring a major victory in a high-profile case. Sonora’s gut tells her the two murders are linked, but how can she prove it when she’s up against a DA who knows how to work the system—and whose current pregnant wife could be in mortal danger?
Eyeshot is the 2nd book in the Sonora Blair Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
At certain moments, Cincinnati homicide detective Sonora Blair hates her job. One of those moments comes while interviewing Butch Winchell about his missing wife, Julia: while studying pictures of the stunning woman with her two young children, Sonora has to deal with the "come-hither" looks of her partner, Sam Delarose. Throughout this third Sonora Blair crime novel (after Flashpoint and Satan's Lambs), Hightower lightens the atmosphere by juxtaposing sexual tension and banter with the step-by-step hunt for a homicidal maniac. The chase starts when Winchell's mention of a tattoo on his wife's ankle reminds Sonora that a colleague has discovered a leg amputated above the ankle, perhaps to prevent identification. A search of Julia's hotel room reveals evidence of an affair--and also turns up notes implicating prominent Cincinnati D.A. Gage Caplan in the unsolved murder of his pregnant wife eight years ago. Julia witnessed the murder, although at the time she couldn't get anybody to believe her. As Sonora and Sam piece together the clues, it becomes apparent that Caplan's pregnant second wife is likely to be next on his list. As a crime puzzle, this novel is nothing special. What gives it depth and resonance is the way Hightower counterpoints the murder plot with the details of Sonora's daily life in homicide, from the annoyance of having to share the station's women's room with male cops to discussions among women about how to tell if the man they're seeing is married. This wry, easygoing narrative overlay gives Sonora and her latest adventure an appeal that should draw in readers despite the lack of cliff-hanger suspense.