Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid walks into her office in Portland's Drug and Vice Division one morning to find the sergeant of the police bureau's vice unit waiting for her. A 13-year-old girl has been brutally attacked and left for dead on the city's outskirts. Given the lack of evidence, most lawyers would settle for an assault charge; Samantha, unnerved by the viciousness of the crime, decides to go for attempted murder.
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Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid is back at work after an attempt on her life and a promotion into the Major Crimes Unit. When the husband of a Portland city judge reports his wife missing, Samantha is assigned the case. She assumes her only job is to make the district attorney look good until the judge turns up. When the police discover evidence of foul play, Samantha finds herself unearthing secrets that were meant to stay hidden.
For Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid's 32nd birthday, she gets an unusual gift: a homicide call out. The crime scene is in the elite Hillside neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. The victim is hotshot investigative reporter Percy Crenshaw, who has been bludgeoned to death in his carport.