Butch's parents arrive to wittiness the birth of the new baby. The mother was very rude and obnoxious and Butch did not want Joanna to take offense to her. Joanna had enough on her plate and did not need this, so Butch was by Joannas side in everything.
At the sheriff station, Joanna got word the Animal Control Officer(ACO), Jannine found a badly scourged and hurt dog, the third one, the other 2 were dead. She suspected illegal dog fights at the O'Dwyers ranch. The O'Dwyer brothers were bad news and Joanna said they are off limits. Jannine was doing some surveillance of the O'Dwyer ranch when she was attacked and beaten almost to death. Some innocent by standers witnessed the beating and were able to get Jannine to the hospital. Joanna talked to the witnesses and was able to get some leads on these cruel people.
J.A.Jance writes a very good story putting the murder mystery, the stalker and the brutal beating of the ACO together in a heart warming and exciting ending. Does Joanna have her baby? Read the story and find out.