Where is Kent Heyward?
But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Kent and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk.
Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Kent, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.
When Liz Talbot, a private investigator, is asked by Colton Heyward to find his daughter, Kent, she doesn't have a clue of what she's getting into. It seems Kent disappeared without a trace, after leaving the house for a night out. Colton is upset because he thinks the police aren't doing enough to find her and have almost closed the case. And that doesn't sit well with him because Colton is a very rich and powerful man and wants it done. Now. So Liz takes the case, but on her terms. She tells him she isn't going to give him a daily update, but will inform him when she has something to report. For the time being, Colton is appeased.
But when Liz starts an earnest search for the missing girl, she and her partner/boyfriend Nate Andres find themselves sucked into a whirlpool of secrets, lies, and hatred that goes far deeper than just the missing girl, but also but something that has been buried by several people; both pleasant and not-so-nice.
Along the way, Liz has help from a guardian spirit: Her friend Colleen, who died seventeen years ago, but has been sent back to keep Liz safe. Her addition to the story, while adding a slight paranormal slant, is indeed useful, as Colleen can go places Liz can't, and helps her with her investigations, albeit as a "silent partner."
This book starts out as a simple missing persons case, but turns into something else. Ms. Boyer adds a layer of intrigue and deception, all the while masking it in the fact of a father who loves and is afraid something awful has happened to his daughter. For we find that there is more than meets the eye: There is the boyfriend, Matt Thomas, whom the father doesn't like, friends that neither parent knows about, including Evan Ingle, an art gallery owner, Kent's best friend Ansley, who has things herself she may be hiding, and Mrs. Heyward's nasty mother Abigail, who unsuccessfully tries to manipulate Liz into doing what she wants.
Liz soon realizes she's onto something when she is "warned off" the case in an ugly and very scary way. But instead of leaving it be, she digs deeper, which doesn't bode well for either her or Nate. To worsen the situation, she and Nate, the love of her life, are having problems themselves. He knows he loves her, but is still unsure of her commitment to him. I found this side story just as interesting as the main one.
I'm not going to reveal any more about the book, but I think it is well written, absorbing, and worth the read. It might even make you appreciate your own family more. I can't wait to read the next installment in the series (please, Ms. Boyer, don't disappoint! Hustle the next book!) Highly recommended.