An Egyptian-American police officer fights for respect.
Philadelphia cop Nora Khalil is working with the FBI on a special task force to combat gang violence. In high school, running track helped her escape bullies; now she uses her speed to good effect chasing down criminals. Though Nora’s attracted to FBI agent Ben Calder, her widowed, very strict father forbids her to date. So she spends her free time helping her brother study for the SAT and fighting off her father’s attempts to arrange a marriage for her. Together with Calder, her partner, John Wansbrough, and others, Nora raids an apartment to arrest Dewayne Fulton, the drug-dealing leader of the Junior Black Mafia, who’s a suspect in the murder of 14-year-old Kylie Baker. Members of the task force think she was killed as payback for the death of a Junior Black Mafia member at the hands of her brother Kevin’s gang, the A&As. Breaking the code of silence, Kylie’s mother gives the task force a good deal of information. But when they find the body of a Muslim woman with her eyes cut out, the members soon realize they’re dealing with an altogether different criminal enterprise. Nora’s ability to speak Arabic stands her in good stead when the trail leads to a mosque where the dead woman did volunteer work. She and her teammates risk their lives to track down a ruthless gang whose despicable activities shock even those who’ve seen it all.
Baugh (The View from Garden City, 2008) launches a new series featuring a strong heroine and plenty of action.