On a Friday afternoon in the heat of the summer, one of Hollywood’s most successful and most colorful filmmakers is blown to bits aboard his sailboat. Three weeks later, to the day, a controversial South Dakota judge dies in the midst of a crowd celebrating Youth Law Day, a poison thorn in his neck. Another three weeks, and a world-renown televangelist is assassinated in the parking lot of a Washington, D.C. restaurant. Three clues are left behind: an overheard telephone call, a poison thorn, and a single bullet.
Exhaustive investigation by the FBI—given jurisdiction in each case—leads nowhere, except to the conclusion that there is no connection between and among the cases. All three end up in cold storage, where they remain until, nine years later, they land on the desk of Special Agent Maggie Sachet.
Lighting a fire under the cold cases is Adrianna Bell, a tough investigative journalist determined to find a conspiracy behind the murders, prove that the FBI bungled its original investigations, and write a sizzling “ten-year-later” denunciation of the Bureau. Maggie begins a review of the cases and finds only one common factor involved—each of the victims had a list of enemies to rival the Manhattan telephone directory. This pleases her boss, Logan MacLean, an ill-tempered (but devastatingly handsome) Scot, who tells her to do a “quick and dirty” investigation, find not a single shred of evidence of a conspiracy, and exonerate the Bureau.
What begins as an uneasy, suspicious relationship between Maggie and the mysterious, difficult Adriana, develops into something else—a cautious, but friendly working arrangement with a lively spirit of competition. And great sadness.
Maggie’s investigation has more twists and surprises than a Mediterranean pasta salad. Intriguing and conflicting clues begin to surface, leading her back and forth across the country as the cold cases heat up, to a temperature that reaches the danger point. Life and death danger. Now, and not nine years ago.