It was a crime so brutal it changed the lives of even the most hardened homicide cops. The Haas family murders left a scar on the community nothing can erase, but convicting the alleged killer - Karl Dahl - is a start. Only Judge Carey Moore seems to be standing in the way. Her ruling that Dahl's prior criminal record is inadmissible as evidence against him raises a public outcry - and puts the judge in grave danger. When an unknown assailant attacks Carey Moore in a parking garage, two of the city's top cops are called in to investigate and keep the judge from further harm. Detective Sam Kovac is as hard-boiled as they come, and his wisecracking partner, Nikki Liska, isn't far behind. Neither detective wants to be on this case, but when Karl Dahl escapes custody, everything changes, and a seemingly straightforward case cartwheels out of control. The stakes go higher when the judge is kidnapped from her home even as the police sit outside watching her house. Now Kovac and Liska must navigate through a maze of suspects that include the step-son of a murder victim, a husband with a secret life, and a rogue cop looking for revenge where the justice system failed.
With no time to spare, the detectives are pulled down a strange dark trail of smoke and mirrors, where no one is whom they seem, and everyone is guilty of Prior Bad Acts.
Tami Hoag's novels have appeared regularly on the US national bestseller lists since the publication of her first book in 1988. She lives in California.