Luisa 'Lu' Brant is the newly elected - and first female - state's attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her revered father famously served. Fiercely ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home.
As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small but tight-knit family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man's life. Only 18, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Propelled into the past, Lu realises that even if she could learn the whole truth, she probably wouldn't want to.
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Laura Lippmann has had a few slumps since I devoured her first works, but she brings all the urgency of those addictive first novels to this, with a lot more sophistication. Just buy it.