Thomas Perry. Death Benefits (2001) 382 pp.
In Pasadena, California, insurance agent Ellen Snyder approves the payment of a twelve million-dollar death benefit to an impostor. Not long afterward, Ellen vanishes somewhere between the nearby airport and, apparently, Los Angeles. The impostor has also disappeared. A stunned McClaren Life and Casualty hires private investigator Max Stillman to investigate the fraud. After making inquiries in both the Pasadena and the San Fransicso-based home office, Max successfully recruits John Walker, an analyst working for his client, to assist him on the case. Max believes John can help him because he amorously knew Ellen when they were both trainees. John agrees to help because he believes the woman he still loves is innocent of any wrongdoing. With opposite motives, John and Max begin a trek around the country in an effort to locate the money and the two culprits behind the felony.