Jill Smith enjoys being a homicide detective in Berkley. However when Detective Jeffrey Buckner, who has return rights, comes back from another assignment, she is demoted back to the streets as a patrol officer. Jill resents Jeffrey's return just as he resents returning. While patrolling her beat, Jill sees a nude protester which is a violation of a local ordinance. Jill gives chase, but stops when former Olympian Bryn Wiley asks for her help. Bryn, a local heroine, claims that someone fired a shot at her car.
........ Jill begins to investigate Bryn's claims. The vehicle does have bullet hole in the window. Bryn believes that her aging hippie neighbor Sam Johnson is the culprit. As Jill looks deeper into the case, trying to figure out who is actually the culprit in this not so neighborly spat, Bryn disappears. Jill, realizing that this case could return her to homicide, digs deeper. However, the case is about long term hatreds that are never forgotten and sometimes leads to murder. Jill must set aside her personal agenda and solve the case before someone is actually killed.
........ SUDDEN EXPOSURE brilliantly and tenderly exposes the Berkley counterculture in a humorous who-done-it. Jill is a great police officer/detective, who in her ninth entry, remains one of the best female characters in a continuing mystery series. This reviewer enjoys all of Susan Dunlap's novels (including her other two series: O'Shaunessy and Haskell) and strongly recommends them to anyone who enjoys a quirky female detective surrounded by eccentric heroes and antiheroes (especially the latter). Exposure to Ms. Dunlap's works is good for one's health.