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The fifth novel in Wendy Hornsby's acclaimed series effortlessly splices together tightly drawn characters with hard-edged intriguing suspense. This is one series that continues to improve with age.

Filmmaker Maggie MacGown is at a crossroads in her life. Her significant other, LAPD homicide detective Mike Flint, is just months away from retirement, her daughter Casey is heading off to college and her current film contract has nearly expired. Figuring that this is an ideal time to raise some money, Maggie decides to sell off the house she owns in San Francisco. Little does she realize that this simple action will trigger a deadly chain of events.

Maggie's old friend, Khanh Nguyen, has asked her to locate another expatriate Minh Tam. Maggie becomes concerned when her home is invaded and life is threatened by Bao Ngo. Khanh, Minh, Bao and Maggie's ex-husband, Scott, were involved in the attempt to keep valuable artifacts from the Vietnamese communists. Then, Scott reappears trying to buy Maggie's house. But before Maggie can decide to sell, Khanh is brutally murdered.

Maggie and Mike grow more concerned when they realize that she and her daughter are being watched. Past secrets and deceptions have caught up with the group and the fallout may be deadly.

(July, 288 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith