Detective Amanda Steele and her partner Trent Stenson are on the scene of an untimely death in a cabin deep in the woods of Gainesville, Virginia. The deceased is a young female who Amanda recognizes as the founder of a popular & profitable cosmetic company, Alicia Gordon. It appears she died alone, shattered wineglass by her side, family portrait tucked underneath the blanket with her. As Amanda gazes at the framed picture, she is astonished to recognize the young woman’s companion as someone she once knew in high school – and she realizes the case has just become that much more complicated. With no evidence of a break in, and they key in the cabin with the victim, the Detectives have little to go on. Was this death a suicide – or something more sinister?
As Amanda & Trent await autopsy results, they begin their investigation by learning as much as they can about the victim. Upon arriving at her home, Amanda sees Tony for the first time in years, surprised to learn he and Alicia had recently married. They also learn that she was considering selling her company – and in the event of her death, most of Alicia’s assets would go to Tony, giving him a significant motive. Furthermore, Tony insists that Alicia would not have harmed herself. A call from the medical examiner has the team leaning towards murder…but who…how…and why?
As the duo digs deeper, they learn of a rival cosmetic company – and accusations of a stolen formula being the source of Alicia’s success. She also learns of animosity between Amanda and her ex-husbands & Tony’s alleged dalliance with a nanny – a relationship he flat out lied to Amanda about, putting him right back at the top of the suspect list. When a second person dies, in a manner startlingly similar to Alicia’s, Amanda & Trend must re-double their efforts to put the pieces together and stop a stone-cold killer in his tracks.
I’ll admit, this one kept me guessing until Amanda made the connection – and that what makes it a good read fore me! I really enjoy this series and I am curious to see how Amanda and Trent’s characters – and relationship – will continue to grow, both professionally and personally, in the books ahead. Great read, great series!!
I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley & Bookouture in exchange for an objective review. Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!