In this, the fourth book of the series, Tracy is hired to prove a girl didn't commit suicide. She is officially listed Suicide, OD on drugs and alcohol. The death was seven months in the past.
She goes to the SFPD and sees her friend Greg. [Sgt Gregory Phillips, SFPD] When Tracy first sees the crime scene photos, she is immediately convinced the death was something other that a suicide, even though there was a note. When Greg asks her to explain, she tosses a picture in front of him.
"She's buck naked", Tracy says. "She went to the trouble to clean her house, even though the house keeper was coming in the next day. Why would she clean everything and turn around and leave her body exposed for the world … and the cretin who shot a little too many crotch shots to see?"
She drives to the victim's apartment, and is a bit shell-shocked to see that it is a luxury condo, rent beginning about three grand. No way she can afford this. Using a ruse, she gains entry into a model unit that appears to be like Gail's. It is quite a Playboy's kept girlfriend's set up.
On a whim, Tracy drives to the M.E.'s office to see what if anything they might have on Gail's suicide. There appears to be nothing earth-shattering about the autopsy, but when she stands to leave, the M.E. she has been talking to asks her if she would like to meet for a drink after five. She says yes.
The drink escalates into a rapid dinner downtown, where the relationship between Brad Springer, M.E., and her begins.
The next morning Tracy drives to the bank where Gail worked. In a humorous bit, starting with the walk from the parking lot. When she gets to the money pit, she battles her way to Faraday's supervisor.
“Go back to the end here,” The woman pointed to what used to be an aisle between desks, but was now a trading floor, “See an old guy named Olson. He’s the boss.”
I said my thanks and fought through some very rude people who had no respect whatsoever for small people. I was elbowed and shoved in places on my body I hold in strict privacy. Finally my umbrella came out, and even though it was folded, and the tip a rounded half inch ball, it became a formidable weapon to be used, quarter-staff style, for poking my way though. Thoughts of slamming it across some fat heads crossed my mind. .
If I could reach that high.
Finally, I got the attention of those who blocked my path while haranguing about a paltry fifty or a hundred, even five hundred million dollars. When I finally broke free of the shouting masses, not one floor trader knew I had passed between them. Or had clobbered them with my bent-up bumbershoot. In the back was a small secretarial desk, with a man sitting at it, and a glassed in cubicle.
“Help you Miss?” He said while punching buttons on a modern telephone keyboard.
My nostrils were flared and I’m sure I was breathing fire. “I want to see Gail Faraday’s supervisor… now!” I panted angrily.
My temper was well over critical mass. “I want to talk to the keeper of these animals, I don’t want to have a seat, I don’t want to be routed to someone else!”
“First time up here, hah?” He chuckled.
The next morning, the paper has an article about a girl named Cassie Potter, who committed suicide in her luxury condo. She quickly realizes this is the same pattern as Gail. She goes to the M.E. office and converses with Brad's secretary, who suggests a search for more girls. Tracy finds a third girl, Susan Kennedy, who died two years ago.
She goes to Greg with her findings. He finally realizes she is right, there is a serial killer. Under orders from Captain Anderson, Greg takes over the investigation, and tells Tracy to butt out. We all know how far that's going to go.
Tracy gets a key lead, and follows up on it with an old camera nut and a street artist. She finds and identifies the killer at the same time Greg arrests the Playboy. Tracy complains and tells Greg don't arrest the guy.
"Too Bad. You lose."
He's gone when she tells her partner that Greg has it all wrong ... the Playboy isn't the killer.