This most recent entry in the Jackson Brodie series is one of my favorites. Jackson’s life continues to be a fractured mess as he tracks down the biological parents of an Australian client, all the while grappling with the ambivalence about his own second-go at fatherhood. PI Brodie shares center stage with a new character, Tracy Waterhouse, a retired cop working mall security. One day on the job, Tracy makes a rash decision involving a crack addict’s five-year-old daughter, setting in motion the book’s most compelling story arc. As events play out, Jackson and Tracy are each confronted with a haunting murder in their respective pasts, told in flashback. All these threads, including an aging actress on the verge of dementia who’s closing out her career on a soap opera, are deftly woven into a page-turner concerned with motherless children and latent parental love. One of my favorite reads of 2011.