When a key witness goes missing, Quinn & Costa must find her before a killer silences her for good…
Detective Kara Quinn is back in Los Angeles to testify against a notorious human trafficker, finally moving past the case that upended her life. But when the accused is shot in broad daylight, the chaotic scene of the crime turns up few reliable bystanders. And one witness—a whistleblower who might be the key to everything—has disappeared.
After another person close to the case is killed, it’s clear that anyone who knows too much is in danger, and tracking down the witness becomes a matter of life-and-death. But as explosive secrets surface within the LAPD and FBI, Kara questions everything she thought she knew about the case, her colleagues and the life she left behind months ago.
Now with FBI special agent Matt Costa’s help, she must race to find the missing witness and get to the bottom of the avalanche of conspiracies that has rocked LA to its core…before it’s too late.
This book is a LOT. And I mean that in the best possible way. This was my first foray into the world of Quinn and Costa, and I want more.
I understand there’s a lot of story that’s happened in previous books. I’m sure reading all of them would fill in gaps for me, but I was able to pull enough from the context of this book that I could follow along just fine.
Kara Quinn is an LAPD detective who was transferred to the FBI’s mobile response unit after her involvement in taking down a human trafficker put a target on her back. She’s back in town to testify at a hearing against him, to hopefully start putting this case behind her. But he’s gunned down outside the courthouse, and that raises a whole new round of questions. Especially when the prosecutor working the case was also planning to impanel a grand jury as part of a secretive investigation related to Kara’s criminal case.
The story unfolds from multiple perspectives, and there are a lot of threads to weave together. If you don’t pay attention, you might miss something. Violet is a computer tech working in city government, and she’s got questions about some data that appears to have gone missing after their system crashed. She’s also worried about her mother, an addict who lives among other homeless people in a tent encampment. Matt Costa runs the mobile response unit, which makes him Kara’s nominal boss, but he’s come to mean a lot more to Kara. Will leads First Contact, an organization that provides assistance and a path out of addiction to people like Violet’s mom. Each of them plays a part in the mystery that unfolds here.
Deception layers upon deception. When Violet goes missing, Kara isn’t sure who she can trust to help her find the person who may be the only witness to the shooting. Information is leaking from somewhere. Can she trust her old squad at the LAPD? Is it a dirty cop? Or is it someone on the FBI side? Tension ramps up as Kara stays a half-step ahead of the bad guys looking to take her out, all while trying to distinguish friend from potential foe. The only one she’s confident relying on is Matt.
You know there’s going to be at least one big plot twist that leaves you picking your jaw up off the ground. Here, there were several. Kara felt betrayed and let down by people she thought would have her back, and justifiably so. But she doesn’t let her personal hurt stop her from pursuing justice and getting to the bottom of things.
Brennan really did her research on the homeless industrial complex, and the plot she describes is one that’s not hard to imagine happening in real life. Human trafficking and modern-day slavery? We know that’s a thing. Government corruption? Believable. Folks profiting illegally off the backs of people who need real help? Also believable. A handful of good people who want to bring it all crashing down? Thankfully, that’s believable, too.
I do love a good police procedural, and Allison Brennan gives us a humdinger with The Missing Witness. Five of five stars, and highly recommended. I can’t wait to see what happens with Quinn and Costa next!
Thanks to Harlequin Trade Publishing and Netgalley for an advance copy. I am voluntarily providing this review. All opinions here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.
About the author:
ALLISON BRENNAN is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling and award-winning author of over forty novels, including The Sorority Murder. She lives in Arizona with her husband, five kids and assorted pets. The Missing Witness is the fifth thriller in the new Quinn & Costa series.