Greed, corruption, and betrayal—no murder is as simple as it seems
When a prominent Sacramento businessman is killed and his wife injured in a brutal home invasion, Detective Emily Hunter and her partner, Javier Medina, are called to investigate. At first glance, it seems like a crime of opportunity gone horribly wrong, but Emily soon finds there might be more to both the crime and the dead man.
The high-stakes investigation also comes at a time when Emily is caring for her mother, who has early-onset Alzheimer's, and Emily struggles to balance her job with her personal life. The city's political elite seem to want the case solved quickly, but darker forces want it buried.
Could there have been a motive behind the attack, making it more than a random home invasion? Emily uncovers clues that cause her to reconsider her understanding of the crime. A deadly game of greed and deception pulls Emily deeper into the shadowy world of gang violence and retribution. She has to walk the razor's edge to identify the killer—without becoming the next victim.
Perfect for fans of Michael Connelly and Karin Slaughter
L'Etoile (the Detective Penley mysteries) introduces another memorable lead in this impressive series launch. Sacramento, Calif., police detective Emily Hunter is struggling to care for her septuagenarian mother, who has early-onset Alzheimer's, when she's handed a high-profile case. Late one night, Emily's called to the home of prominent local businessman Roger Townsend, who's dead after an intruder shot him in the back before slitting his throat. When Emily arrives at the scene, the chief of police, Thomas Clark, is already there, at the request of Mayor John Stone, an old friend of Roger's wife, Lori, who was also injured in the struggle. The fatal break-in appears to match a pattern of recent home invasions, but Hunter feels uneasy about Stone's interference with her investigation, and wonders if there's more to the murder than meets the eye. Sure enough, after a little digging, she discovers links between Sacramento's elite and a shadowy criminal enterprise, and rushes to find answers before she becomes a target herself. L'Etoile's long career in California criminal justice lends veracity to this page-turner—the courtrooms and precincts feel uncommonly lived-in. Admirers of strong female protagonists will be eager to see more from Hunter down the line.