By J.A. Jance
While “under the influence” of painkillers after having double knee surgery, Investigator J.P. Beaumont (“Beau”) remembers the unresolved issues from his past. “Ghosts” visit him, prompting him to finish what he left unanswered.
A young woman, killed when Beau was a beat cop, appears and reminds him of her unsolved murder. Known among the cops as the “girl in the barrel,” Monica Wellington was found by two boys and Beau was one of the first cops on the scene. That case got him transferred to the Detectives Division, a promotion he sought for quite some time, and Wellington’s murder was his first as detective. Unsolved, all these years later.
His second visitor was Lieutenant Lennie Davis, better known as Lennie D to the guys in ‘Nam. Lennie D saved Beau’s life by giving him a book to read. That book, tucked against his chest during a battle, took the impact of the bullets and saved Beau. Lennie D wasn’t so lucky. Although Beau knew Lennie D had a fiancé, he never contacted her to tell her of his act of kindness. Unresolved, all these years later.
Beau is recuperating from double knee replacement, but has the old case of Monica Wellington reopened. The detective assigned to aid him—Delilah Ainsworth—was valuable in digging up information, but at what cost? The trail is cold, but starts to heat up when Beau finds that it’s more than a simple murder.
Through years of service, Beau developed contacts throughout the force’s network. Using a few of them, he tries to locate Lennie D’s fiancé. He has to set the score straight and tell her what Lennie D did for him. Is it too late? Will he be able to find her and if so, will she be receptive to what he has to say?
Jance shows that Beau is not perfect, but a very flawed protagonist. This in itself is refreshing. I highly recommend this novel!
Reviewed by Starr Gardinier Reina, author of “The Other Side: Melinda’s Story”