Amy Youngston is Family. It hasn’t done much for her until one day, when Raymond Escarton Fields, the head of the Family, hires her to find out who’s trying to kill him.
The Family has many doctors, lawyers and other professionals, but in all of those thousands of cousins, there’s only one private investigator, and that’s Amy.
She takes the case, but when some party or parties unknown start by bugging her office that very night, it’s clear that she can’t handle this alone. The only person she can turn to is the one close friend she has (of two) who isn’t Family, and, because it is secret, he doesn’t even know about it. Until now, because Amy has to tell him. She’s not supposed to tell outsiders, but he has to understand what’s going on, doesn’t he? She could tell him if she married him, and they’re certainly close enough, but . . . let’s not go there. Amy’s got some serious problems with intimate relationships, especially with Alec. Problems she’d rather not think about (but they still keep coming back).
When Amy finds that there’s as much of a target on her back as Fields had told her was on his, she begins to wonder. Did he hire her because she was the only choice he had – or because he had it in for her? Without some handle on the bad guys, there was no way she could find the answer to this question except to carry on with her investigation.
The most frustrating part for Amy is that there doesn’t seem to be any reason for someone to want to kill the head of the Family. Of course, the same can’t be said for whoever it is that’s sending her repeated messages that she’s in their crosshairs as well. Especially when they ambush her and Alec, tie them up and proceed to torture them in her own kitchen. As they say, expecting to be killed in the immediate future tends to get one’s attention. They’ve definitely got hers.
Reesa’s not looking for a relationship, she’s after a killer. Sometimes, though, it’s easier to think outside the box when you don’t start inside it, and it’s not like he doesn’t have some involvement with these murders already. Jeff’s not bad to look at either, and he’s willing to settle for just going to lunch from time to time. That works for her.
Then again, as many times as he’s been involved with the murders, maybe he’s the killer himself.
Or maybe not.
Of course, life would be so much easier if the star local TV crime scene reporter didn’t insist on putting her front and center all the time and sneering at the fruitless efforts of both the Tucson Police and Pima County Sheriff’s Departments.
One way or another, Reesa won’t rest until the killer is brought in. Better if he’s a stranger, but if it’s this private eye who’s working to be her friend, so be it. Whoever it is will be going down.
What if your wishes were suddenly granted?
You’re with an old friend, a friend you used to date but haven’t seen in almost half a century. Just catching up, enjoying being together. Regretting lost opportunities. You both make what turn out to be virtually identical wishes to be young again with each other– and then wake up that way.
What do you do then?
Becky is in jail. The charge? Murder. There’s also a very deep and dark place inside her own head that she’s found, crawled into and pulled in after her. That’s going to be even harder to get her out of than jail, which will be plenty difficult by itself.
Amy is doing everything she possibly can to clear Becky. She has identified the actual killer and is working hard at getting the goods on her. Amy knows exactly what she needs to clear Becky, if she can only get the crucial evidence in time. It would be hard enough to do for any client, but when it’s someone Amy has internalized to the degree she has Becky, her cousin and best friend, she can’t even defend herself against the pain and agony she goes through when she fears she won’t be able to do it in time.
When she ends up hauling the killer into court, she’s lucky enough that the victim’s widow screams out in open court that she’ll kill Amy just like she did her no-good cheating husband!
That works. It gets Becky out of jail.
Getting her out of that pit in her own mind is going to be lots harder.
Especially when Becky confesses to Amy that she has become so introverted, so fearful of making new intimate connections with people, that the only man she could possibly have a relationship with now, the only man she wants, is Amy’s husband. It’s ripping her up inside, because she can’t do that to Amy. Or Alec either, for that matter.
How much does Amy love Becky?
Amy sees one way out, but that means trouble.