"A fascinating mystery"
Cochise County, Arizona Victim Advocate Chloe Newcombe
knows that in spite of the relatively small population and
the isolation of the mountains she has plenty of clients
assigned to her. Local Deputy Sheriff Hector Estrada turns
to Chloe to inform Lee Thomas that someone killed her
husband, State Supreme Court Judge Cal Thomas, in the
nearby ghost town Windy City. Chloe is shocked to observe
Lee as an antisocial shell of the once civic-minded
individual she had been and her family totally ripped
As Chloe tries to help Lee, reporter Nate Pendergast,
who was working on a story about Judge Thomas, has
disappeared. Chloe's lover Craig Williams another person
linked to Thomas also vanishes. Rationalizing what she is
doing as part of her job to help victims, Chloe
investigates the late Judge and his links to the missing
people starting with the Thomas family. Chloe is unaware
of the danger she places herself in by stretching her job
beyond the limits.
Once the audience accepts Chloe's definition of her job
to include "police" investigation, the story line is an
engaging amateur sleuth tale. However, by going down that
path, readers lose an opportunity to see what a victim
advocate must fully deal with, as that role serves as a
secondary plot to Chloe's inquiries. Elizabeth Thornton
provides an entertaining mystery, but needs to place Chloe
on the fringe of the case because her official work should
serve as the lead theme of the plot. In other words, leave
the crime busting to the pros, but make that a subplot.
Amateur sleuth fans will delight in Chloe's antics, but
feel a bit gypped.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 17, 2002