The stunning execution of a white New Orleans cop turns out to have roots in a 25-year-old crime.
Officer Johnny Leroy was a decorated veteran of the NOPD with a stellar record and few known enemies—certainly no one who’d be aggrieved enough, or bold enough, to shoot him as he sat behind the wheel of his parked cruiser. Although Detective Quentin Archer and every officer the force can spare spend countless hours poring through Leroy’s quarter-century of arrest records, their progress is slow. Nor do the initial efforts of voodoo priestess Solange Cordray, who’s worked with Archer before (Thrill Kill, 2017, etc.), yield more than hints toward the solution. Bruns, however, makes no secret of the killer’s identity or motive. He’s Joseph Brion, and, as he announces to Leroy just before he pulls the trigger, he’s acting on behalf of his father, André. When Old Joe Washington, an unarmed black man, is shot in an apparently unrelated incident as he flees the scene of a convenience store robbery, the Big Easy turns mighty uneasy, and raucous crowds carrying signs saying “Black Lives Matter” and "Police the Police” demand justice even as they turn up the heat on Archer’s investigation. In a city that clears a measly 27 percent of its homicides, the odds are against Archer. But dogged questioning, led largely by the increasingly detailed visions of Solange, sets the NOPD on Brion’s trail, and a dragnet closes slowly around the man who lives only to spark the large-scale riots that his thirst for vengeance demands. Even if there seems no room left for the unexpected, Bruns still has one last surprise up his sleeve.
A workmanlike, unspectacular case that combines honest detection, an unlikely romance, and headline-driven paranoia and wraps it all up in under 200 pages.