Dial takes a break from her six tours of La-La-Land’s mean streets with Detective Josie Corsino (Set the Night on Fire, 2016, etc.) for an even deeper descent into the city’s dark side as a retired LAPD detective searches frantically for his 13-year-old son.
There are lots of reasons that Nino Angelo’s never been close to Matt: his long hours working Homicide, his correspondingly bad attitude, his greedy ex-wife Sidney’s subsequent marriages, the bullet still lodged in his chest that ended his days on the force. After a surprisingly good day with Matt, it’s doubly cruel for Angelo to learn the next morning that the boy is gone, presumably run away to explore the fleshpots on his own. Jennifer Goldberg and Jake Bennett, the St. Mark’s schoolmates Matt was evidently closest to, can shine no light on his disappearance, Jenny because she’s under the thumbs of her attorney father and the more attractive kids at St. Mark’s, Jake because he’s talked back one too many times, gotten expelled, and then been shot to death. Terrified that Matt will become the next victim, if he’s not already dead, Angelo pokes among the city’s homeless community, bonds with Detective Charlene Harper from the Hollywood station, and does his best, which is pitifully little, to comfort Sidney. Altogether more promising is the friendship he forms with his ex’s latest man, Detective Reggie Madison, a can-do cop who’s even more fearless and less diplomatic than Angelo. He’ll need all the help he can get when he links Matt’s disappearance to another corpse discovered at the bottom of a lake and a child porn ring even more sordid than the places he’s been searching.
Both the tale and the landscape against which it unfolds are so glum that the glimpse of promised happiness at the end is almost too much to bear.