The Bottom Line: An absorbing and ingeniously crafted mystery that will hold readers captive until the very last chapter.
Austin Police Department detective Jason Scarsdale traveled to Washington D.C. for an in-person job interview with the U.S. Marshals. Or at least that’s what his wife, Dani Mueller, believes. But when Jason fails to return to their hotel, and Dani reports him missing, she’s told that everything she knows to be true is wrong.
The Marshals claim they’ve never heard of Jason. The person he was supposed to interview with doesn’t exist. And interviews for Deputy Marshal positions are never conducted in that location.
Did Dani’s husband lie to her about where he was going? Was Jason set up in some kind of elaborate scheme of deception? Or is Dani herself not telling the truth about what happened?
Author Alan Brenham has created an incredible setup that positions Dani as both a suspect and an amateur sleuth. A former police crime analyst, Dani is now a defense attorney – or as Detective Floyd Hatchett of the D.C. Metro Police calls her – a “professionally licensed liar.” But Hatchett’s bias against defense attorneys isn’t the only reason he suspects Dani. Years earlier, Dani stabbed a predator to death for raping and killing her daughter.
In Hatchett, Brenham has created a formidable antagonist – tireless, meticulous and highly observant, it doesn’t take him long to dig up plausible reasons that Dani might want her husband dead. But is he also guilty of confirmation bias? As the book goes on, it’s increasingly clear that he’s also driven by his own anger over a series of professional and personal conflicts. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s wrong.
Brenham’s already unputdownable mystery moves to a new level when Dani realizes she’s the only one who can prove her own innocence. Once she flees the U.K. to continue her investigation – becoming a federal fugitive in the process – the suspense reaches a fever pitch that is sustained until the final chapter.