Owen Keane, former seminarian turned metaphysical detective, is in over his head at the Jersey shore. Hired to help a grieving widower who refuses to rejoin the world, Keane finds himself in a resort town haunted by the long-ago death of a real lady in the lake. Somewhere in the town's dark past, Keane must discover the clues he needs to solve the mystery of a broken life.
In this weak follow-up to his Edgar-nominated debut Deadstick, Faherty features one real and one fake suicide attempt and lots of tortured soul-searching by an uncompelling cast, but no real crime. Amateur detective and former seminarian Owen Keane is hired by Harold Ohlman Sr. to find out why Harry Jr., Owen's college pal, is taking so long to recover from the shock of his wife Mary's death. Although the auto accident was clearly not Harry's fault, the young widower is practically hiding out at the New Jersey shore, and Harry Sr. wants him back at the family law firm. Owen, who once loved Mary, resists taking the job but is swayed by Mary's little daughter, who looks just like her mother. Owen shadows Harry (who's mainly trying to paint) and becomes involved with a mysterious beauty until everything comes neatly together. The only blood shed is that of Owen, who cuts his hand. The most interesting character is a feisty nonegenarian nun.