When a badly decomposed body is found in the basement of an abandoned warehouse, Erie police detective, Matthias Honeywell, is called in to investigate.
Meanwhile, freelance photographer Emma Anderson is desperately trying to find her drug-addicted sister, Nell. Then a devastating piece of evidence found at Detective Honeywell’s crime scene brings her world crashing down, a driver’s license belonging to her missing sister.
In need of her assistance, Matthias asks Emma to help with the case, hoping to solve the mysterious disappearance of Nell Anderson. But in doing so, will the investigation uncover more questions than answers?
“Every so often I pick up a novel that is so good I cannot put it down. Annette Dashofy’s Helpless is one of those. The latest installment of the Agatha nominated Zoe Chambers mysteries features a murdered mother, a missing child, and a ticking clock. And with multiple lives hanging in the balance, it’s all hands on deck. Cinematic, tense, and unrelenting, Helpless had me hooked from the opening scene. Exceptional!” — Bruce Robert Coffin, award-winning author of the Detective Byron Mysteries
As a massive weather system barrels toward them, Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams and his wife, County Coroner Zoe Chambers-Adams, soon learn how unprepared they really are. A 911 call reports a dead young mother, her critically injured husband, and their missing seven-year-old daughter. Pete and Zoe realize that as the storm moved north from Louisiana, a mysterious killer came with it.
The wounded and trapped father is Zoe’s friend and blacksmith, and he asks her to stay with him during the rescue efforts. Pete encourages her to oblige, hoping she can uncover clues that might help the investigation. But as attempts to free the victim fail and his condition worsens, Zoe’s questions reveal he doesn’t know why his family was targeted and child kidnapped. Yet he stays alive, hoping for one last glimpse of his little girl.
Pursuing the murderer and the kidnapped child, Pete and his officers battle downed trees, massive flooding, and a widespread loss of communications. They’re isolated with no backup, while facing rising water and impassable roads. The killer faces the same problems, yet somehow stays one step ahead of law enforcement. But he is becoming desperate, and more people are dying because of it.
As two lives hang in the balance, can Pete win the race against time and weather to stop a savage and cunning predator? And will he and Zoe be able to reunite a family before it’s too late?
Where the Guilty Hide takes us to Erie, Pennsylvania, and introduces us to an entirely new set of characters. It’s no surprise that the result was wonderful.