by Jonathan Kellerman

Reviewed by Coral

When the Fauborg Hotel announces it will be closing its doors for good, Robin and Alex decide to head over for drinks one last time. They also enjoy people watching: the mean looking man with the earpiece outside that looks like a body guard; the dolled up young blond who seems have been stood up.

The blond's body turns up a few days later. Her clothes say she never made it past the night Robin and Alex saw her waiting at the hotel.

With no ID for either the girl or the mysterious bodyguard outside, Milo and Alex have their work cut out for them trying to solve the case. But persistence - and an anonymous tip - leads them to people with a lot of secrets to protect. Secrets they might have killed for.

I enjoyed the book. The ending was a surprise to me (like always) but it felt plausible. There was a little too much research by internet and some faulty detective work (really, when you get a name of a suspect or person of interest, how does no one check to see if that person is dead? It should be part of a routine background check: record, address, and living status), but the story was solid overall.

One thing I didn't like - and maybe some of the news stories I have been reading lately have made me overly sensitive to the issue - was how hard Milo and Alex pressed people who were not suspects to divulge information. I know it's a common thing in TV shows as well, where they are always threatening lawyers, doctors and priests who "withhold" confidential information, but I really didn't like how the family who ran an online dating site were treated in the book. They were never suspects and legitimately wanted to protect themselves. I know Milo was trying to solve a case, but they had the right to consult a lawyer and I didn't like how they were pressured and pressured to give up the information. These rights exist to protect us and I have started really resenting things that show people being pressured into giving up their rights in the face of threats.

So Milo will ask Rick to track down information about a clinic that tests for STDs but never asks him if he knows anything about two practicing doctors later on. Not that Rick knew them, it just seemed weird.

There was one little - to me - plot hole, though I am afraid to be too specific so as not to give anything away. But after the case is solved, I really didn't understand why the bodyguard guy was sought temporarily employed where he had been. It made sense if he was meant to be a mole on the inside, but access to the information was available in another way, so I don't see why he was needed.

Oh, and there was one thing about the case that I managed to guess right away (that I also can't say)! Whoo!


Grade: B