Though he is one of my favorite mystery/thriller writers, Pearson's books usually do not show a strong grasp of romantic relations or of women, in my opinion. The romances generally feel cardboard and perfunctory, and the women characters are usually one-dimensional stick-figures, or else completely incoherent hodge-podges.
In this book, Pearson puts his greatest weaknesses front and center--Daphne emerges as a lead detective, and she and LaMoia develop a romantic relationship.
For Pearson, that move is a brave departure, but not so smart. Thius book puts his weaknesses on glaring display, in my opinion.
In this book, Daphne is presented as something of an emotional mess. She pronounces (and insists upon) a lot of psychological speculation, without any data or evidence to back it up, but she doesn't "detect" much. The book's romance between her and LaMoia could have been written by a mildly talented ninth grader, so deep is its insight and subtle its progression.
And the plot isn't great--you figure out whodunnit fairly early. The red herrings confuse the plot more than mislead the reader. And the resolution turns on lots of amazingly correct guesses and overly improbable clues. For instance, at one point, when she is being kidnapped, Daphne reaches into her underwear and rips out the tag, dropping it on the ground as a "crumb" to lead detectives to her. Not only is the tag spotted-amidst all the detritus of a city street in a bad part of town-- but LaMoia (a) recognizes the tag as Daphne's, though at this point he hasn't had occasion to see her intimate apparel (he's even amused to see the brand, for the first time, in the midst of this chase), and (b) realizes immediately that it means to go underground through a man hole! That's quite a feat of semiotics!
There is also some sloppy editing--at one point, a judge upbraids an attorney for objecting in a disorderly fashion, saying that the courtroom isn't a revival meeting. But the attorney had not made any objection at all, in the published version. And though Pearson is usually a stickler for research, he has LaMoia, a recovered oxycontine addict, steal two tablets of amitriptyline and agonize for days whether to indulge in them. But unless my memory has completely failed me, amitriptyline is a very, very old-fashioned tri-cyclic antidepressant, chemically unrelated to the synthetic narcotic oxycontine. It's strange for Pearson to make this kind of mistake--and a decent copy editor should have caught it.
I found the whole thing terribly tedious and contrived.
I never thought I'd say this about a Ridley Pearson novel--but I advise you skip this one.