Henry Pierce has a whole new life - new apartment, new telephone, new telephone number. But the first time he checks his messages, he discovers that someone had the number before him. The messages on his line are for a woman named Lilly, and she is in some kind of serious trouble. Pierce is inexorably drawn into Lilly's world, and it's unlike any world he's ever known. It is a night-time world of escort services, websites, sex, and secret identities. Pierce tumbles through a hole, abandoning his orderly life in a frantic race to save the life of a woman he has never met. Pierce traces Lilly's last days, but every step into her past takes him deeper into a web of inescapable intricacy - and a decision that could cost him everything he owns and holds dear ...
Henry Pierce is about to become very rich--as soon as his firm, Amedeo Technologies, gets an infusion of capital from a big backer. But the brilliant chemist's workaholic habits are disrupted when his lover, the former intelligence officer of his company, breaks up with him. Lonely and dispirited, he moves into a new apartment and gets a new phone number that attracts a lot of callers, but not for him. His new telephone number seems to have previously belonged to one Lilly Quinlan, an escort whose Internet photo arouses Henry's curiosity, especially when L.A. Darlings, whose Web page features the beautiful young woman, can't tell Henry how to find her. With the same single-mindedness that made him a high-tech superstar, Pierce pursues his search for the missing girl, motivated by his guilt over the disappearance years earlier of his own sister, who, like Lilly, was also a prostitute (and ultimately the victim of the Dollmaker, a serial killer from Connelly's 1994 novel The Concrete Blonde.) But that motive is too thin to support Pierce's sudden abandonment of his career at such a critical juncture, even if forces unknown to him are setting him up for a fall. Despite those holes in the plot and a less than compelling protagonist, the novel succeeds due to Connelly's literary and expository gifts and his more interesting secondary characters. --Jane Adams