Liza is coming home through a crowded overpass near her home, stumbles into her yard, and is shot at. The shot hits her mother, killing her by the time Liza and her father make it to the hospital. In shock, the two accept casseroles and try to figure out what happened, but bigger problems intervene-- someone tries to kill Liza. There was another murder under the overpass, and Liza was an unwitting witness. The two are shuttled to a seaside town nearby, but they see familiar faces there and are in jeopardy. Even in a remote farm in Kansas, people recognize Liza's unusual red hair, and they are followed. After taking off on their own for a while, Liza and her father are brought back into protective custody in order to find the murderer and put him away for good.
Strengths: Shaw does problem novels beautifully (Black-eyed Suzie, The Boy From the Basement), and has a real talent for writing from a baffled and disjointed perspective. Liza's pain at losing her mother is palpable, and the saga of the two on the run is good adventure, if sad.
Weaknesses: The mysterious identity of the murderer is handled a bit abruptly at the end, and I didn't quite buy it, but this is more of an on-the-run book than a murder mystery.