Lepionka introduces wonderfully flawed Roxane Weary, a gutsy, risk-taking, bisexual private investigator who doesn't know when to quit. Still reeling from her cop father's death on the job, she reluctantly becomes a death row inmate's last shot at proving his innocence. Fueled by sugar, alcohol, and bad relationships, she discovers cold cases of missing teenage girls and a web of secrets in a Midwestern suburb where nothing is as it seems.
In Belmont, Ohio, a persistent Roxane collides with local cops, possible suspects, and her own demons while on the hunt for Sarah Cook. Sarah disappeared fifteen years ago on the day her parents were brutally murdered. Her boyfriend, Brad Stockton, was found guilty of the murders, is now on death row, and continues to maintain his innocence. Brad's sister swears she saw Sarah recently, and Roxane, who is low on funds, takes the case.
Skeptical at first but still drawn to Sarah's plight, Roxane discovers a link between this case and one of her late father's unsolved murder cases involving another teenage girl. She discovers that other girls have gone missing or turned up dead in Belmont and becomes more determined in her quest to find the truth in this secretive town, all while befriending some folks and antagonizing many more. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane begins to hope that she can save Brad's life and, possibly, her own.
I love, love, loved this book! Add this to your must-read pile and you will not regret sitting up late to see how it ends.
The work of a confident and remarkable author, this promising first novel is a thrilling and original page-turner perfect for mystery lovers. Smart-mouthed and driven, Roxane Weary is a modern day heroine I would follow anywhere. I have a feeling that Lepionka and Weary are here to stay!