The police originally believe that the murder of the beautiful but reportedly sociopathic bride, Jillian, was committed by a missing Mexican gardener who had apparently lived in the cottage where the body was discovered on the property where the wedding was celebrated. Dave is hired by the bride's super rich mother to find out the truth when the police haven't found a trace of the absent gardener after 4 months of investigation.
The narrative focuses on the techniques and thought processes used by Dave Gurney to discover and solve the mystery of who killed Jillian and why. I found some of the book quite slow and plodding and had to suspend disbelief a few times with some of the more unbelievable approaches or "ah ha" moments Dave manages to use to his advantage. The revelations about the complexities of the case are indeed like peeling an onion...layer upon layer. The denouement was not wholly unexpected, just took about 500 pages to get there. By that time, however, I was sick to death of Madeleine. I didn't want to read any more about her and Dave's marriage and I didn't care what she thought about anything nor did I want to hear any of her brilliant "insights" into the investigation. Dave seems to be an introverted intellect and I'd much rather see him tackle future cases alone without all his angst over his home and hearth. The book covers many different criminal elements (don't want to reveal any spoilers) with lots of super bad guys thrown in for good measure. I was ready for the end long before it finally came.
The story is definitely a multi-layered mystery, but really not a suspense thriller. I can't decide if I want to read another in this series or not.