On a Saturday afternoon, Joan relaxes at her desk while her new secretary is out shopping. A lot has changed in her life since Penelope, a young woman with a traumatic and violent past, came to live with her. Even with the constant challenge of being embarrassed by Penny’s sexual teasing and the lack of work for the past month, Joan feels strangely satisfied with her life. Together, their dark histories seem distant and far away.
Heralded by the sound of a loud, thunderous roar of an engine, the eccentric Carla Levant arrives at the office. Arrogant, clever, and demanding, Carla makes it known that she’s a wealthy, deviant, and married woman who is certain her husband is trying to get other women pregnant. Were that to happen, a divorce would soon be on its way, and would be the end of her extravagant lifestyle. To protect her interests, she’s more than happy to pay Joan to intimidate, assault, or even kill the women her husband is cheating on her with.
Despite her fears of working for such a woman, Joan agrees to spy on her husband and take photos of his adultery should the opportunity arise. Satisfied, Carla leaves with a final heavy flirtation with Penny. What seems like a routine case, becomes dark and complex, along with Penny’s former life coming back to haunt her in Joan’s absence. The idyllic life Joan enjoyed is threatened in ways she hadn’t expected.
Throughout the story, you’ll also encounter Story Insights that tell the stories of other characters, reveal backgrounds, or contain excerpts from other books in the Hadrian Empire Series. You’ll even be able to read some of Joan’s old casefiles as Penny comes across them in Joan’s absence if you dig deep enough.
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