Hayley Antonovich, beautiful, kind and popular daughter of the richest and hottest film director in Hollywood, goes missing with Brian, the boyfriend few of her circle of close friends knew she had. A ransom of $1million is requested from her father for her safe return. The ransom is paid but, two days later, Hayley`s body is discovered in the boot of her boyfriend`s car. Deputy District Attorney Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller are called in to solve the murder. Brian`s body has also been found. Who would perpetrate such a crime in Hollywood? A writer or aspiring actor turned down by her father and who wishes to exact revenge? Someone who just wants the money but becomes mired in complications leading to the deaths of the young people? Rachel and bailey are surrounded by hundreds of possible perpetrators with plausible motives.
As the investigation progresses it becomes clear that there is far more to this case than first appears. Who is Brian and why would he, a man with and ordinary job and no acting or writing ambitions, actively seek out Hayley and want to be her friend? Is there a hidden agenda in his actions? Why was the amount requested for the ransom the exact amount Russell Antonovich keeps in cash in his sumptuous home for emergencies? Has Russell`s right-hand-man and almost second father to Hayley, former child star Ian Powers, something to hide…something rooted in the past which has rankled him for much of his adult life? He is the man whom Rachel and Bailey favour for the murders, but can they prove it – Ian Powers has rich and influential friends in high places and does a lot of youth charity work: how could he possibly be involved?
In spite of the hostile glare of the Hollywood media and the disapproval of her own boss, Rachel and Bailey track down as many facts as they can and prepare the case against Powers for trial. In the face of active abuse from reporters and the defense, Rachel and her team are set for a remarkable courtroom drama which exposes the darker side of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.
Marcia Clarke keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the investigation and the dramatic scenes in the courtroom. We ride the terrifying turbulence of evidence discredited, threats in the press, missing witnesses with breath held fast. The writing is incisive, fast-paced and gripping. What a hugely entertaining read – I look forward to reading more from this amazing author!
Reviewed by Liz.
Thank you to Hodder for sending us a copy to review.