Madeline’s dual professions as event coordinator and private investigator cross paths during the most lavish affair of her career—a weekend-long 40th birthday extravaganza for the wife of a famous film director. As the party draws near, a simple background check after the disappearance of precious family jewels quickly turns into a murder investigation, and before Madeline and Mike can put the pieces together, another body turns up.

Adding to Madeline’s already overflowing plate, the D.A. informs her that Rick Yeoman, one of the men who had abducted her three years earlier, has been released from prison after cutting a deal with the Feds. Besides fearing reprisals from the man she helped to convict, his parole also triggers the reappearance of soulless Lionel Usherwood, lured out of his hideaway by the call of revenge. When Yeoman’s body surfaces in Lake Cachuma, Usherwood moves on to the next target: Madeline.

A High Price to Pay is the second novel in the Madeline Dawkins series.