Superintendent Natalie Price, head of a Massachusetts correctional facility, attempts to prove that her boss, Deputy Corrections Commissioner Stephen Carlyle, didn't kill a prostitute. The victim, former socialite Jessica Asher, was part of a high-class call-girl ring, and the evidence points to Carlyle, including photos of their rendezvous.

To complicate matters, Natalie could be pregnant and is unsure if the father is her commitment-phobic cop boyfriend or her alcoholic deputy-superintendent one-night stand. Adding stress, Nat must joins forces with Boston police captain Fran Robie, an arrogant, self-assured woman Nat is unwilling to trust, though Fran can open doors to solve the murder.

As more clues link Carlyle to the murder, Nat suspects someone is setting him up. She suspects Jessica's brother-in-law and ex-lover, who plans on running for the Senate, and believes that the head of the call-girl ring has the answers. Nat puts her own life in danger to find her.

Title's well-executed plot has lots of red herrings and gritty, real-life characters. Suspenseful and chilling, it is impossible to put down. (Jun., 320 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick