When Jill Szekely arrives in San Diego to begin a temporary job as director of the EsCa, a crisis house for women, her first day is anything but normal. A strange man claiming to be an artist seeking a model keeps hanging around; another rebellious teenager has just showed up at the door; and, strangest of all, the EsCa’s founder and patron, Estelle Carruthers, has just been found murdered.
As bewildering array of clues point to both clients and staff, murder accusations begin to fly. Already struggling to handle the demands of an unfamiliar job, Jill must now call on the sleuthing skills she never knew she possessed in order to sort out puzzles that grow more complicated by the day. The list of suspects seems endless as Jill contemplates whether the murderer is a staff member, one of the adult residents, or, worse, one of the vulnerable teenagers seeking refuge from turmoil.
In this gripping mystery, the reputation of the EsCa as well as the young director’s future are on the line as a patron’s secrets are revealed and a bloodthirsty killer seeks revenge.