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After nearly being murdered the year before, L.A.police officer Cindy Decker is back on the streets and trying to earn her detective's shield. On a routine patrol, she ends up rescuing an hours-old baby girl discarded in a dumpster in the back alley behind a popular restaurant.

Afterward, Cindy can't let go and vows to find the parents. It's in the hospital pediatrics ward that Cindy first meets, and is immediately attracted to, Koby Kutiel, an Ethiopian Jew whose family immigrated to Israel when he was a child.

With Koby's help, Cindy gets her first clues about the baby's possible parentage: Either the mother or father is likely to be developmentally disabled. As her search becomes a quest, Cindy turns to dad Peter for help. Having had their issues in the past, can they put aside personal problems to work in concert? The closer Cindy gets to the truth, the more dangerous it becomes.

Like her father before her, Cindy Decker is turning into a fascinating character and an excellent cop. Kellerman's ability to tell stories that are enriching as well as intriguing is awe-inspiring. (Aug., 420 pp., $25.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith