When her father was convicted of murder eight years ago, Mary Margaret Duggan stood by his innocent plea and became a Reno showgirl to pay off attorney and investigator bills instead of attending college. Cynical towards justice and the religious leaders she felt betrayed her, she was scraping by.

An interim pastor at a Laurel, California, church, Dane Barrett planned to ease in to things until a deathbed confession that could change things in the Duggan case came to his attention.

From their very first and very memorable meeting, they share a friendship and more. Together they hunt the missing pieces of the original investigation. Add to the mix Rut Coleman, a recently released convict who tortured Mary Margaret's father in prison, and is now obsessed with Mary Margaret. As they pursue their leads, they realize that what they find might get people hurt.

Ms. Kaiser's strong, character-driven story spends a lot of time building the foundation. When the action starts, the payoff is worth it. (Dec., 448 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Debbie Richardson