As Phoebe Siegel (in her debut mystery) investigates a drug treatment center near Billings, Montana, she is pushed to the limit both mentally and physically. Standard elements soon pile up: the foreboding medical facility, the malevolent director with his icy female assistant and terrified patients, evidence of a potential conspiracy and cover-up, and connections to the recent questionable death of Phoebe's policeman brother. As she nears the truth, Phoebe experiences the usual break-ins, threats, and sudden realizations. A routine effort, perhaps of interest to larger collections.
Another in the ever-burgeoning ranks of female private eyes makes her first appearance. Phoebe Siegal is a divorced Billings, Montana, FBI Academy dropout who supplements her trust-fund income by working as an investigator. Mary Kuntz needs Phoebe to uncover the fate of her daughter. The teenager isn't dead but changed drastically. Well, Phoebe thinks, that often happens to kids who become addicted to booze and cocaine. No, says Mom, it's more subtle than that. See, the radical change came after--more likely, while--the girl was in Whispering Pines rehab center. Phoebe doesn't want the case, but when she realizes the erratic subject filed sexual misconduct charges against Phoebe's recently deceased--via suicide--cop brother, she can't resist. Veteran mystery readers can probably complete the plot from here, but Phoebe, her family, friends, and the rest of the characters speak like people we know and are motivated by believable demons. This solid first novel will have readers eagerly awaiting the next one.