Lieutenant Julia Brennan is on the NYPD fast track, mentored by pioneering Deputy Chief Bea Sheperd and regularly fed hot tips by her hard-drinking Uncle Robert, a reporter for the Daily News. She’s downplayed her blonde beauty to earn a reputation as a hard-nosed cop. Now a haunting crime scene—the naked body of a nine-year-old girl discovered in Central Park, curled in a fetal position and blue from the cold—challenges Julia’s toughness and triggers a mission that threatens her career. “Little Girl Blue” becomes a personal crusade for the divorcée who’s raising her precocious daughter Corry alone. Against the advice of colleagues, she teams up with brooding rogue cop Peter Foley, who’s been on his own crusade since the disappearance of his daughter Patti six years earlier. Foley works undercover in sex crimes, posing as a pedophile to arrest the real perps. As Cray (Bad Lawyer, 1999) jitterbugs between the pair’s perspectives, throwing in the boozy exploits of streetwise Uncle Robert for added texture, Foley leads Julia through the intertwining worlds of child slavery, international adoption, and pedophilic porn. Methodical police work leads them to Little Girl Blue’s last home, where they find the decapitated heads of her adoptive parents. More clues take them all over the city and into a chilling underworld. In the process, they become skittish lovers, but their intimacy doesn’t win Foley Julia’s trust; instead, she begins to question both her instincts and his innocence.
Complex, mature characters and a rich portrait of the city elevate a formulaic story above noir clichés.