Another double helping of ancient Miami murder for the Cold Case Squad.
As usual, Buchanan jump-starts her story with an irresistible hook. The Cold Case cops going through the Shadows, murdered Miami ex-mayor Pierce Nolan’s abandoned mansion, just before it gets bulldozed to make room for condos find a chilling surprise in the basement: a box containing the mummified remains of seven babies that’s been there for over 40 years. Pierce’s widow, Diana Nolan, reacts first with frigid hauteur, then with accusations against her obviously promiscuous husband. But DNA evidence shows that not one of the babies is related to Pierce or any of the others. The discovery rivets most of the squad, but not Officer Sam Stone, who’s gotten permission to reopen a case closer to home: the shooting of his parents back in 1987. He swiftly finds that Ray Glover, the cop who delivered the bad news to Sam and his grandmother, died soon afterward in a suspicious accident and that all three murders had their roots in a conspiracy that reaches back even further. Though the two cases never intersect, they pull so many citizens, from a peeping Tom to a millionaire’s wastrel daughter, into their orbit that all Miami seems to be united in covering up some shameful secret.
Honored veteran Buchanan (Cold Case Squad, 2004, etc.) produces another masterfully crowded canvas, even if some of the loose ends are tied up more convincingly than others.