An Indianapolis cop is pulled way outside his comfort zone—or deeper into it?—when he tangles with a sexual-slavery ring.
DS Ashraf Rashid may have been reassigned to Community Service after his troubled last case (The Outsider, 2013), but he’s the one who discovers a crashed Mercedes with two dead bodies sitting inside. Capt. Mike Bowers, the head of Crimes Against Persons, names Ash to head the investigation and assigns detectives Greg Doran and Tim Smith to work under him. Given their history with Ash, neither is crazy about the assignment. Smith in particular alternates between smoldering with resentment and scheming to get Ash tossed off the force. Identifying the dead bodies as those of Daniel and Kara Elliot leads Ash to the Dandelion Inn, a bed-and-breakfast that’s a lot more interested in bed than breakfast, and brings him once again into a reluctant dance with someone else with whom he has a fraught history: politically connected gangster Konstantin Bukoholov, Kara’s father. The revelations of human trafficking, official corruption and infighting among and within law enforcement agencies are sordid, messy and ultimately not all that interesting. What sets the tale apart is its hero: a religious Muslim with a drinking problem, a long-suffering wife and a keen delight in cutting legal and ethical corners to bring in the bad guys. Seldom has a police procedural been so aptly titled.
Ash does eventually solve the case, though not to anyone’s satisfaction. But even at the fade-out, it seems as if his family may have to wait a long time for his next quiet dinner with them.