In her work for the Ventura County Probation Department, Carolyn Sullivan interviews the most dangerous, depraved criminals—and Raphael Moreno is at the top of the list. The hardened street thug has been convicted in a series of gruesome and baffling murders, including the decapitation of his own mother. For the first time, Carolyn is face-to-face with a criminal who truly frightens her. But things are about to get much hotter—and much deadlier for Carolyn. A phone call from her brother, Neil, propels her into a nightmare.
A popular bachelor and successful artist, Neil has discovered the body of his girlfriend, Laurel, floating in his swimming pool. When her death is ruled a homicide, Neil becomes the prime suspect. But he has an alibi—he was in bed with Melody Asher, a seductive party girl and heiress. Their torrid affair is as steamy as it is addictive, a twisted game of manipulation and sexual blackmail. When Melody refuses to back up Neil’s story, the sensitive brother Carolyn thought she knew suddenly seems like a complete stranger. And then the most shattering news surfaces: Blood found in Neil’s expensive new car links him to Raphael Moreno and his unthinkable crimes. As the evidence against Neil mounts, Carolyn is forced to ask herself troubling questions. Is he an innocent victim, or could he be hiding a darker side, a sinister streak that connects him to the brutal murders of nine people? Could the brother she loves actually be a cold-hearted, ruthless killer?
The key to everything seems to be Moreno, but getting inside his head is a treacherous game. As the danger grows and shocking secrets are revealed, a shaken Carolyn must find the courage to make the ultimate decision—whether to risk the lives of innocent people or save herself and those she loves most.