By Jonathan Kellerman
Random House - Jan.1999
ISBN: 0679459596 - Paperback

Reviewed by: Pam Stone, MyShelf.Com

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 Twelve-year old Billy Straight, who is precious, heartbreakingly perceptive, and relentlessly moral, has run away from the chaos and severe abuse of his family life at home and is fighting to survive on the meanest streets of Los Angeles. All alone, Billy has fashioned a precarious existence for himself, using tricks to nourish his mind and body. Late one night, he watches from his hiding spot as a man viciously butchers a woman named Lisa Ramsey. Lisa turns out to be the ex-wife of Cart Ramsey, a celebrity of sorts with a history of domestic abuse. Billy becomes the center of attention from the media, from the violent bounty hunters, and from the murderer himself.  As Billy runs for his life, he is relying on his wits and instincts for survival.  Petra Conner, a tough and very beautiful LAPD homicide detective who could save Billy’s life if he would only let her, is also tracking him. 

The plot speeds along to a climax that’s guaranteed to surprise even the most seasoned mystery fans. There is a wonderful cast of characters, that have depth and are very believable - especially Billy. This resourceful little boy and the tenacious Petra made me want to clap my hands and cheer out loud for them. 

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