Lambda Literary Award Winner
When Detective Kate Delafield and her partner, Detective Joe Cameron, get the call to investigate a homicide in the secluded, old-money neighborhood of Hancock Park, Kate has the feeling it’s not going to be murder as usual. Her hunch is correct. A cultured, refined mother of three, Victoria Talbot is the last person you’d expect to die by gunshot, execution-style. At first the finger of guilt seems to point at the victim’s ex-husband Douglas, and everyone involved—from the authorities to his own children—are more than willing to suspect him.
But for Kate, the easy way has rarely been proven the right way, and there are too many unanswered questions that suggest not all is at it seems with this dysfunctional family. Now, Douglas Talbot is on trial for his life, Kate’s lover Aimee has disappeared to God-knows-where, and Kate must piece together a deadly puzzle of secrets and lies…
“A mystery in which the answer to every question has weight, every facial expression has significance and the reader gets caught up in both a puzzle and a welter of strategizing by attorneys and witnesses.” - The Washington Post
“A fabulous police procedural...the murder mystery is cleverly executed so that the evidence is laid out one step at a time, enabling the reader to form an opinion, but keep in mind Katherine V. Forrest is brilliant at the sleight of hand or two.”- Midwest Book Review
“Los Angeles homicide cop Kate Delafield makes a strong impression...[she] plies her trade with admirable efficiency and more hard-to-come-by integrity.”- The New York Times Book Review
Originally Published by The Berkley Publishing Group 2004
In Forrest's not quite noir, somewhat flat legal drama, the fifth in her Kate Delafield series (Amateur City, etc.), the seasoned LAPD detective investigates a murder in the affluent low-crime enclave of Hancock Park. Dysfunctional family values are scrutinized in the press and in a heated courtroom scrimmage, where the slip of a word or facial tic can arm a clever defense attorney. When the corpse of middle-aged matron Victoria Talbot turns up in her stately, suspiciously spick-and-span home, most of the evidence points to her unrepentant and loathsome ex-husband, entrepreneur Douglas Talbot. Kate and faithful partner Detective Joe Cameron structure the developing leads into a damning picture of guilt. The coldly competent deputy DA presents the circumstantial case against Talbot, whose harassment of his ex-wife long after the divorce speaks volumes. But a last-minute bombshell la Perry Mason adds an unexpected twist. The author's realistic rendering of courtroom hijinks and her sympathetic, ultra-professional, strong yet vulnerable protagonist help salvage a less than exciting story line. Some of the more intriguing characters get short shrift, leeching color from the whole, but loyal fans won't be disappointed.