This legal thriller centers around the brutal killing of a prominent, politically connected socialite (Paul Hanover) and his beautiful fiancee', Missy. Who killed the high-powered duo before setting their newly redecorated masion on fire and why? So, to get to the bottom of the mystery, San Francisco Mayor West asks Deputy Chief Abe Glitsky to look into the death of her friend and biggest supporter. She doesn't believe that her friend killed his lover and then turned the gun on himself, nor does she have confidence in the lead Detective, Dan Cuneo, who suffers from a bad attitude and some kind of compulsive disorder. While the investigation appears to be a "slam dunk" for the police and prosecutor (a suspect is quickly identified, the daughter-inlaw, Catherine Hanover, who appears to have the most powerful motive of all greed and desire for money), Glitsky's instincts suggest that there is more to this case than meets the eye. Unfortunately Glitsky has a lot on his plate. Although he is middle aged (approaching 50, with grown children), he has a young child and one of the way. He also feels guilt about something (that must have been explained in previous books, because it wasn't really explained here...only that it involved a shoot-out)and doesn't want to alienate Cuneo or others in the department. And on top of that, his old partner and holder of the same "secret", Dismis Hardy, is the ex-boyfriend and defense attorney of the prime suspect. And finally, when Abe's son is born, something is wrong (won't tell you exactly what, you will have to read for yourself), and that takes his focus off the investigation.
While the story takes you through their personal lives, the investigation and the trial, you come to agree that sometimes doing your job (i.e., solving a case) is influenced by politics and frankly bad blood between various law enforcement agencies. I work in law enforcement and I know, but I am not saying that this book is 100% realistic, just accurate about that conflict. But most of all, Hardy finds that believing in what someone (Catherine) use to be or use to represent, could influence how you represent them, and may causes you to make mistakes and not see what is really there. Dismas has to face certain things about himself and his life before he can successfully defend a woman who he once loved.
Anyway, I enjoyed the story immensely although there was a great deal going on....it started out as a simple murder investigation, and blossomed into a great deal more (i.e., espionage, terrorism, federal nominations for cabinet positions, Mob relations, identity theft, embezzlement, CIA, FBI, infidelity, etc). But I also liked the underlying theme of "life regrets" (I am not going to tell you all everything, again you have to read the book). For me, that was what is so potent about the story...."if you know what you know now, would you have taken the same road? And this is true for Missy, Glitsky,Cuneo and especially Hardy. And when the puzzle is solved, you find that like "real life investigations", the solution was always there, you just have to be willing to see it.
The only thing that I would suggest is that you read the other books that are possibly in this series. Because I have never read any of the other books, some of the stuff I just didn't get or understand. And although it didn't take anything away from my enjoyment of the story, I was left with a few questions that I could not answer. For example, Abe made reference to his "Senator" wife who killed herself (he never said why), and that Dismas's first wife died, and then there was the whole "shootout" incident that apparently not only was Abe and Dismas involved in, but Cuneo's Lieutenant, who was killed was too. And as a reader, who has not read any of the other books, I still don't know what happened that was so upsetting to Abe and Dismas? So, I just would have liked a few sentences to explain those incidents. But overall, I liked this book and would recommend it.