by Laurie Moore
Dakota Jones, nouveau riche owner of Runaway Investigations, expects a quiet Thanksgiving with her girlfriend, Kris Carson, a homicide investigator with the Phoenix Police Department. But Kris gets called in to work, spoiling their long-awaited day together.
Celia St. Claire, the madam of Fantasy Escorts, Unlimited—a high-dollar escort service—was found murdered and her body posed at a grisly scene, and Kris’s police partner, Hamilton Stark is asking for Kris’s assistance with the investigation. It looks like someone had a grudge to settle with Celia until another fantasy escort is found murdered a few days later.
Then a third fantasy escort is found dead, and a pattern begins to emerge in the clues from each victim—henna tattoos, with lyrics from popular songs, and missing locks of hair.
Dakota, who once worked as a fantasy escort for Celia, wants the murders solved but Kris, who’s glad Dakota left her old life, wants her to stay out of the investigation and distance herself, despite phone calls from the remaining escorts who are begging for Dakota’s help.
Jealousy between Hamilton and Dakota for Kris’s time and affection erupts as the two detectives work the pattern killer cases; after all, Kris once had a meaningless fling with Hamilton and it’s getting in the way again.
Then grizzled stranger Travis Creeley—one of Dakota’s former fantasy clients?—appears in town looking for his daughter while Dakota searches for a missing teenaged neighbor, a wealthy member of the Goth culture and aspiring henna tattoo artist.
Could the teenager be involved, or know who’s responsible for the murders? Hindered by local politics, Kris and Hamilton must accept Dakota’s help as they work parallel investigations in order to stop the murders and find justice for the victims now that Kris and Dakota find themselves targets of a frightening pattern-killer.
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