On a rainy day, Rebecca Harris is shot to death at long range in the parking lot of the southern California newspaper where she works as the assistant to a liberal columnist. It quickly becomes apparent that Harris was almost certainly not the intended target. Rather, it was the columnist herself who had antagonized large numbers of conservative readers with her outspoken opinions.
Rebecca leaves in her wake a tangled emotional mess, including her fiance, Josh Weinstein, an FBI agent, and her lover John Menden, a fellow newspaperman. At the time of her death, Rebecca was in the process of leaving Josh for Menden. Both men are devastated by her loss, and Weinstein is naturally further hurt and angered by her betrayal. Menden responds to the tragedy by quitting his job, withdrawing from society, and taking another job at a tiny newspaper out in the boondocks. Josh's response is to throw himself into the task of finding Rebecca's killer.
Weinstein ultimately concludes that the killer is the powerful head of a private security company--a former FBI agent himself who went off the rails when his son was killed and his wife critically injured in a shooting incident. The ex-agent was infuriated by a series of columns written by Rachel's boss suggesting that his son was a rapist, hence the botched attempt to kill her.
The problem is that Josh does not have enough evidence to charge the killer and so, in a bizarre twist, he recruits Menden, Rebecca's lover, to go under cover and get it. The two men will put aside their feelings about each other in the larger interest of catching the man who killed the woman they both loved.
This is a very good book that keeps the reader on edge, particularly after John infiltrates the killer's inner circle. The tension rises not only over the issue of whether John will survive long enough succeed but also over the lingering question about whether Josh might still want to ultimately punish Menden for stealing Rebecca's heart. Another winner from T. Jefferson Parker.