Linda Lael Miller ignites the combustible passion between attorney Clare Westbrook and homicide detective Tony Sonterra in this page-turning conclusion to her bestselling trilogy of "heart-stopping suspense" (Winter Haven News, FL).
A senseless murder. A sizzling adventure.
Clare Westbrook is a survivor who built her law practice from sheer determination -- and an unexpected inheritance. Now Clare, carrying her lover Tony Sonterra's child, has taken the biggest risk of all: saying "yes" to his marriage proposal and finally burying her lifelong commitment phobia. So why is fear running through her veins and haunting her dreams? Sonterra is fired up to leave Phoenix for small-town Arizona, to replace the town's missing police chief and target a lethal desert crime ring. Clare's willing to stand by her man, but her fiancé won't be the only one flirting with danger on the job: as a special investigator for the D.A.'s office, Clare is plunged into a race to find a missing child whose mother was murdered -- a hot case that puts Clare's safety, and that of her unborn child, on the edge. For in a place where secrets have nowhere to hide, the promise of Clare's bright future could vanish in the blink of an eye....
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January 02, 2006
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Excerpt from One Last Look by Linda Lael Miller
Pima County Forensic Science Center
The zipper on the body bag caught, and the technician gave it a hard, practiced yank. The stenches of death and the attendant chemicals roiled out of the cavity and, in the moment before Detective Tony Sonterra remembered my presence and eased me back with a slight motion of one elbow, the image of Jimmy's youthful, ravaged face imprinted itself, hologram style, on every cell in my brain.
Bile scalded the roof of my mouth.
My name is Clare Westbrook, and I've seen more than my share of corpses. I seemed to attract them on my own, and my association with Sonterra, who was a homicide cop at the time, merely compounded the problem.
I turned away, doing my best not to retch.
Jorge "Jimmy" Ruiz was sixteen years old. His dreams were heartbreakingly modest -- he'd wanted a car, cheap housing, and a dog that would come when he called it.
Sonterra had befriended the boy eight months before, when he'd turned up in Phoenix, hungry and ingenuous, and wangled a job with Sonterra's family's landscaping business. Customs and Immigration snagged the kid a few weeks after he arrived, during a routine green-card check, and promptly sent him home to Mexico. Sonterra stayed in touch with Jimmy after that, got him a room in Nogales, on the Sonoran side, then pushed up his sleeves and waded into the red-tape matrix. Probably because of his own Hispanic heritage, he'd been determined to make a difference, if only for this one boy.