“Not only does Barry Graham have a sharp writing voice, both tight and flowing like James M Cain, it’s what he does with it. He takes a socially aware look at the people we fear. He focuses on the killers and rapist the nightly news gives three minutes of airtime and stares at them until somebody cracks. Usually, it’s the reader.”
- Scott Mongomery, Mystery People
Laura Ponto wouldn’t mind watching Frank del Rio being strapped to the executioner’s gurney, even if her job is to find mitigating evidence in death penalty cases. Frank’s not a client, but a long time ago he did unspeakable things to children - and Laura was one of them.
Now Frank is being released on parole, and they both learn that their lives are still intertwined. Their story will end in a place even darker than it began. This shattering noir tale of suspense, sex, violence, love and death in the urban desert of Phoenix, Arizona, has been called “one of the great post-realist novels” by the French magazine Transfuge. It is Barry Graham’s most uncompromising novel to date, and Laura Ponto is his most unforgettable protagonist.