Scottoline deviates from her novels featuring her all-female Philadelphia law firm with this stand-alone thriller. Philly U.S. Attorney Vicki Allegretti is at a rowhouse with ATF agent Bob Morton to meet with a confidential informant when things go horribly wrong: Morton and the informant are gunned down.

Determined to find the killer, Vicki meets with suspect Reheema Bristow, a young woman charged with firearms violations. The result is disastrous. Vicki grabs her and is hit with a suspension. Ironically, though, the two form an alliance when it looks like Mort's killer may be the same person who murdered someone in Reheema's family.

With this captivating thriller, Scottoline departs from her usual style of balancing her mysteries with humorous twists. She thoroughly explores the underbelly of the City of Brotherly Love, highlighting the inherent dangers in trafficking illegal drugs and weapons. This masterfully crafted plotline shows Scottoline at her best, expertly combining intrigue with a healthy dose of romance. (Jun., 400 pp., $25.95)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick