Adrift in mist-shrouded San Francisco mornings and alcohol-fogged nights, homicide detective Kate Martinelli can't escape the void left by her departed lover, who has gone off to rethink their relationship. But when twelve-year-old Jules Cameron comes to Kate for a professional consultation, Kate's not sure she's that desperate for distraction.
Jules is worried about her friend Dio, a homeless boy she met in a park. Dio has disappeared without a word of farewell, and Jules wants Kate to find him Reluctant as she is, Kate can't say no--and soon she finds herself forming a friendship with the bright, quirky girl. But the search for Dio will prove to be much more than both bargained for--and it's only the beginning.
When Jules disappears while taking a trip with Kate, a desperate search begins...and Kate knows all too well the odds of finding the child alive...
I can't think of any moments in recent mysteries that equal the sheer physical and emotional terror of Kate Martinelli's discovery--about halfway through this third book in Laurie R. King's excellent series, now available in paperback--that the 12-year-old girl she is looking after has disappeared. Kate, a just-out lesbian, is under fire for that and other reasons at the San Francisco Police Department, and the missing girl is the daughter of the woman whom Kate's work partner has just married. Kate's relationship with her life partner, Lee, is in serious trouble, and she has strong feelings about wanting children of her own. The motel from which the girl has vanished is in the middle of a notorious serial killer's terrortory. As she does in her equally smart and visceral series about Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes (The Beekeeper's Apprentice, A Monstrous Regiment of Women, A Letter of Mary), King balances all the elements perfectly, and keeps us involved every inch of the way. Her other Martinelli books are A Grave Talent and To Play the Fool.