This was a first effort that read like one. While the plotting was decent, the execution felt amateurish in multiple places with bizarre point-of-view shifts and nonsensical plot points thrown in.
The heroine Lydia is someone for whom the reader should be able to root, however I found her to be one of the most annoying main characters I've read recently. She's a writer of true crime books and a private investigator who, when she was a teenager, discovered her mother's bound and mutilated body. She is generally horrible to everyone who has the misfortune to encounter her.
Her love interest Jeffrey is also a private investigator. He happens to be the FBI investigator who was assigned to her mother's case and has looked out for her all these years. I love a good May-December romance (in fairness this is more May-September) but this pairing was squicky. Jeffrey is actually quite nice, but so enamored by her that he allows her to lead him around by the nose. She even makes the observation at one point, something to the effect of, "he would always come when she called."
My primary issue with the story though is that everyone, including the Chief of Police, allows Lydia to run the investigation. She's a writer, yet she directs even the seasoned investigators through the missing persons and murder investigations. She barks orders at the uniforms regarding the processing of evidence, rakes the Chief over the coals regularly, and tells Jeffrey when to jump and how high. They all let her do so, bowing to her "expertise." It made zero sense.
There is the promise of good writing here if the author has honed her talent, so I will try other books by her. But maybe not the ones featuring Lydia.