All former truck-stop waitress/new heiress Lizbet really wanted was a swimming pool. What she got was a skeleton, suspicious cops...and Charlie. While digging the hole for the pool, workmen discover a human skeleton. Suddenly Lizbet's backyard becomes the focus of the cops, the FBI, and the media. And if that isn't enough, 30 minutes later, Charlie, the skeleton's owner, shows up in ghost form dressed as a sexy, young hippie type, and asks Lizbet to help him find out who murdered him back in 1969.
Charlie's back! Lizbet Lange, who'd forgotten all about him, is abruptly reminded of their past escapade with Charlie's bones when Charlie appears in Lizbet's bedroom at an inappropriate moment.
Zachariah Smith intends to find the person who shot him and Irene Sandhoff outside her office during a citizen's rally against Sandhoff. Was the bullet meant for Zach or Irene? Or, by luck, did the killer only have to use one bullet for two targets. Zach finds he must give the shooting his full attention when Phil Pauling, the chief of police for Mackie Woods, Oregon, is shot while in Zach's car, and an old friend is found dead in Zach's office.
"People hire me, Zack Smith, to pull their chestnuts out of the fire. This time I have to track down a fourteen-year-old runaway, Jessica. Her trail leads to the streets of Portland, where pimps, drug dealers, and pornographers offer runaways an illusory security in exchange for their innocence - and sometimes their lives."