Lynn Hightower's female characters take no prisoners. Sonora Blair, tough-but-vulnerable Cincinnati police detective, knows the father of 15-year-old Joellen Chauncey is involved somehow in his daughter's mysterious disappearance. But Sonora's boss, partner, and colleagues think she's crazy. Dixon Chauncey is a devoted single father of three, and a mild, self-effacing milquetoast who's much too "squishy" to be a suspect. Sonora doesn't buy the official line--that Joellen got caught between two feuding scam artists involved in a thoroughbred swindle--not even when the girl's body turns up, along with an empty, blood-spattered horse trailer. Sonora won't ignore what her gut tells her. And when Joellen's diaries open up a whole new line of investigation tied into a missing children's network, she renews her efforts to find the crack in Dixon's façade. The plot is full of seductive McGuffins: the owner of a riding school who lands in the hospital minus a finger; a mysterious and sexy stranger hanging around the barn. The narrative meanders a bit, taking in Sonora's failings as a single mother to her own kids, her impulsive decision to buy a horse, and her overactive libido (which fastens itself on three different men in a little over 300 pages). But the book is crisply written, with resonant characters and a suspenseful narrative. It's a special treat for horse fanciers.|
The first time Sonora saw the farm, it was dusk, and there were horses running in the paddocks. It did not seem like the kind of place where a young girl of fifteen could saddle up a horse for an afternoon ride, and never come back...
Joelle Chauncey did not disappear without a trace -- she left blood, and a discarded riding boot. Cincinnati police detective Sonora Blair, a single parent herself, has a feeling this child is not coming back. Tracks from a horse trailer indicate both Joelle and the mare she was riding were taken together. Who was the target--the girl, or the horse?
Nobody saw a thing. The farm owner, Donna Delaney, was out. The uncomfortably handsome veterinarian from the farm next door heard nothing. The girl's father, a single parent, was at work.
Joelle's disappearance is only the beginning ... and after a grisly mutilation at the barn, no one is getting involved. But crime talks, and Sonora is led by an eerie and unsettling presence, a killer wrapped in layers of internal conflict, a killer who will follow a bizarre path of good and evil, and dark compulsion. No Good Deed is the story of a child's brutal abduction . . . a lover's betrayal . . . and a good cop's journey into the darkness.