Dealing with the fallout of the death of her ex in book #1, Tess is finally pushing to become a private investigator. Seeing someone new (Crow) she feels a bit more centered, but not by much. Her family still drives her up the wall, her boss (sort of) who is pushing her to get off her butt and set up her own office. We get to see Tess pounding the pavement to figure out the mystery behind two cases and come to a decision about her love life.
When her uncle ends up in the hospital, Tess is left caring for a dog he recently got and trying to figure out why mysterious men in cars are following her and her family. On top of that, Whitney talks her up to the editors at the Beacon Blight to hire Tess to figure out who is behind a story going to press that was killed.
Tess having a background in newspapers definitely helps her out here. She manages to use what she knows to go back and look at the sources/writers of the newspaper story that was supposed to get killed. Tess also manages to piece together what her uncle was up to and why people are looking for something he hid. Tess we find out in this book used to have an eating disorder and we get why she's so focused on working out every day if she can. I already knew she rowed in college, but finding out there's a reason why she was into working out and having bulimia made me feel for her.
I thought Tess and Crow were pretty meh. There was foreshadowing all along how that was going to end up. He just seems to be there for her to stomp all over. I would have gotten fed up too. I also would have gotten fed up with him wanting more than I wanted to give, so they both cancel each other out. Tess's second love interest didn't do a lot for more either. Never a fan of love triangles in books, but this one didn't really bother me so much since Tess at least did the right thing by not jerking two guys around at the same time.
The setting of Baltimore is played up here a lot and you hear all about Charm City in this second book. It's funny that I live so close and I have been to Baltimore just once. Tess via Lippman talks a lot of crap about those who came in and tried to gentrify Baltimore and the white and black flight from certain areas.