"With a journalist's eye for the telling details of life, Caitlin Rother is a keen architect of the most important part of storytelling: character."--Michael Connelly
"A strong debut from a perceptive and unflinching writer. Detailed and tightly focused."--Jefferson Parker
Tired of working undercover narcotics, police detective Ken Goode wants a transfer to homicide. After the Camus-reading surfer finds the body of a beautiful woman in an alley, he is assigned to head a team of relief detectives with the hopes of proving he is homicide-worthy. As Goode explores the underbelly of the affluent coastal enclave of La Jolla, California, and its hipster neighbor, Pacific Beach, he clashes with the patrons and employees of a neighborhood bar: real estate agents and beauty school students who have possible ties to an escort service and a drug ring – and keep turning up dead. The untimely disappearance of Goode’s sister proves a worrisome distraction as he chases suspects and a dogged cub reporter chases him. In this intricately-layered plot, Rother’s characters use substances or other people to try to fill the empty spaces within themselves, with addictions ranging from sex, alcohol, cocaine and cigarettes to Goode’s own, caffeine and damaged women.