One cold January evening Luke Barber disappears from his village. Despite search teams and a police investigation, he is never found, and he’s labeled a runaway…or murder victim.
That was three years ago. Now Luke’s father has employed ex-police detective Michael McLaren to find Luke, for even knowing that Luke is dead is better than holding out the faint hope that he has merely run away.
Which may not be far-fetched. Luke had the unenviable dilemma of choosing to devote his life either to tennis or music¾a difficult decision, for he excelled in both. Pressure from his tennis coach and doubles partner, as well as his music teacher and singing partner, would probably be enough stress for any young man. But add to that his father’s opinion he should work the family farm and his future mother-in-law’s vocal view he should stay home, get a sensible job and support her daughter…well, it all may have proved too much for Luke to handle.
But fear and jealousy may also have spurred Luke into flight…or contributed to his death. There’s the local hoodlum who tried to strong-arm Luke into turning drug supplier. And Ashley, his fiancée¾was she jealous of Bethany, his singing partner? Perhaps Bethany’s husband resented the hours of rehearsal and performances that took her from home.
In the midst of his investigation, McLaren’s car is broken into, his house ransacked, and he’s viciously attacked one dark night. But rather than scare him off, the personal affronts merely make him more determined to solve the case. As McLaren probes into Luke’s life, he discovers the truth lies in a tangle of lies and false identity. And it quickly becomes a dangerous game of hide–and-seek between the ice-cold killer and McLaren. And he has no idea the one he ultimately finds was even in the game.