DNA evidence springs a man from prison after ten years, but to the cops he remains a killer.
Quentin Price was a security guard at Merryweather College in Binghamton, N.Y., when Gwen Crawford was a coed there. They liked each other, everybody knew it, and on the night she disappeared people noticed them deep in conversation. When Gwen was found raped and murdered, witnesses readily recalled the white girl’s friendship with the black guard. Though Quentin insisted his relationship with Gwen had been friendly rather than romantic, a jury, convinced that frustrated love had turned to homicidal hate, sentenced him to life. Ten tough years later, DNA testing sets Quentin free. The cops who made the case against him, however, aren’t convinced. Maybe the new round of testing was somehow flawed. Maybe Quentin had an accomplice. Enter Ruth Crawford, now a believer in Quentin’s innocence. Bent on finding her daughter’s real killer, she begs Quentin for help, and when he signs on, the victim’s mom and the convicted killer become a sleuthing odd couple.
Straka (Cold Quarry, 2003, etc.) provides a brisk, page-turner of a beginning, then pads the middle. Too bad.