Five Star, Sep 2009, $25.95
In Hollywood, streetwalker Layla “Leilani” Schultz comes to the set of the popular TV show Cold Case Chronicles asking for help. Layla explains to associate producer Harmony Magnussen that she had thought for fifteen years that when she was four she killed her younger infant brother Jake suffering from Spina Bifida; at least that is what her mom Amberlee insisted. Now she has received a note that says she did not do it. Layla wants Harmony to investigate.
The case is closed as Layla confessed to smothering her brother. Harmony wants to help her, but her boss says no. With the help of videographer Ahmed Saleh, Harmony goes to Gypsum where she stirs up resentment and murder while her teenage son Dane is a rebel without a cause when it comes to her and his dad TV star Jeff Burdick who makes matters worse. However, as she begins to make progress through the stonewalling, someone is killing the people in Gypsum related to the death of nine month old Jake.
The fun in this intriguing whodunit with several major twists is Hollywood invades small town America with Harmony’s intrusion and enhanced when TV action star Jeff arrives to a hero’s welcome. The story line is fast-paced as the heroine runs up against the local, her TV show and the rich and famous obstacles in her cold case investigation. Fans will enjoy Harmony’s efforts although her inquiry leads to unintended consequences that haunt her.