On a very hot morning in Southern California, Tim Ryder brings his first coffee of the day out to his porch. Before he can swallow, he sees the dead body of a young man laid out on the lawn. Neither Tim nor his wife Deirdre have ever seen the man before, but the youth's death stirs up their very different lives of twenty years earlier, when Tim was in college and Deirdre was a prisoner of drugs. Tim testified against a man, helping to give him a long term prison sentence. The man has just been released and Tim is afraid he means to have revenge. One doesn't need to read very far to understand why Santogrossi's first novel won this year's malice Domestic Contest. Santogrossi grabs the reader at the key start of the story and doesn't let go until the final page.
Stephen Santogrossi has been an electronics technician, a workers' compensation claims adjuster, and a rock radio disk jockey in Palm Springs. He currently manages his wife's psychology practice. He lives with his wife and daughter in Pomona, California.