Mike Connolly is likeable, aiming to run for governor—and he wears his considerable wealth and privilege modestly. Cassie Price, a paralegal at his family's Pittsburgh law firm, is brilliant and earnest. Though she comes from a religiously conservative family, she can't help falling in love with Connolly. When she's found dead in the house she just purchased, suspicion falls immediately on Cal Hathaway, the neighborhood handyman who finds her body and who, like so many others, was besotted by the lovely Cassie.
Detectives Coleson and McGranahan sew up the case with a confession from Hathaway just as Commander Christie returns to the city from vacation. He can't sleep. The solution seems uncertain to him in spite of the physical evidence. He reopens the investigation, risking the good will of the two detectives who closed the case. Along with Colleen Greer, Artie Dolan, and John Potocki, Christie begins to try to substantiate Cal's confession. In the process, the police unearth secrets of politics, riches, class, and race.
Determined (and sleepless) the four detectives pursue an unusual set of clues until they end up in a midnight-to-dawn chase.
Minotaur Books, hardcover, August 2012, ISBN-13: 978-0312569143
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"In Edgar-finalist George's well-constructed sixth police procedural...Christie and company patiently weed through endless interviews, trace evidence, and the complex relationships of many flawed characters, including the malleable Hathaway, weak-willed Connolly, and cocky Simon, who scrambles to stay ahead of the investigation. Series fans should be pleased."
"George's all-too-familiar story is so richly observed, subtly characterized, precisely written—her syncopated paragraphs are a special delight—and successful in its avoidance of genre cliches that you'd swear you were reading the first police procedural ever written." Starred review
"What most distinguishes this police procedural, the sixth in its series, after Hideout (2011), is its fully realized cast of characters, a close-knit group of detectives who deal with shades of gray in crime-solving. George's deft prose, skillful plotting, and winning characters are reminiscent of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series, and her fiction is almost as praiseworthy." Starred review
"Kathleen George continues to make Pittsburgh delightfully lurid...Simple is fast-paced, pitting, in different ways, Mike, Cal and the homicide crew against an amoral villain hiding in plain sight."