Several months after leaving the Justice Department, Quinn Harlowe runs into her old friend and former co-worker Alicia Monroe. The young woman is very distraught and disappears before Quinn can do anything to help her. When Alicia turns up dead on property Quinn owns, she's stricken -- and determined to find her friend's killer.

Quinn soon realizes that there's a connection between Alicia and the activities at Breakwater, a compound near her cottage. But she has trouble getting close enough to investigate because of the high security surrounding its owner, Oliver Crawford. That means that she must work with Huck McCabe, one of Crawford's bodyguards. Not an ideal situation, but McCabe isn't exactly what he seems, as Quinn soon discovers.

A keen ear for dialogue and a sure hand with multidimensional characterizations are Neggers' greatest gifts as a storyteller, and both are much in evidence here. By turns creepy and amusing, the story engages on several levels. (Feb., 384 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer