A detective is pressed into guarding a 10-year-old boy who’s the last surviving member of his family.
NYPD detective Buddy Lock is surprised when lawyer Ray Sawyer calls him and asks for his help solving the murder of a family upstate. Buddy’s jurisdiction is limited to Manhattan, and though he’s flattered that Ray would want his help, he doesn’t think he knows anything that might solve the New Year’s killings of virtually an entire branch of the wealthy Brook family. Even so, Buddy agrees to look into the case along with his brother Ward Mills, an expert in safe houses and human behavior. While they investigate Camp Kateri, the site of the murders, Ray is asked to care for the last remaining Brook, Ben, who somehow managed to escape while his parents and sister were killed. Whoever murdered the rest of Ben’s family comes after him while he’s in Ray’s care, and though Ben survives, the lawyer's wife is killed in the attack. Convinced that the killer will stop at nothing until he’s dead, Ben begs Buddy to keep him safe. Buddy agrees to bring him to the home he shares with his girlfriend, Mei. The two work round-the-clock to care for Ben and keep him safe, and Mei bonds with the traumatized boy, offering him mothering while he’s most vulnerable. Buddy and Ward do their part by researching the Brook family tree to find out who might have something to gain by killing the eponymous next of kin.
Direct and fast-paced, Tucker’s debut takes readers on an adventurous ride that extends from questions about custody of a young charge to an art deal that may have its roots in the exploitation of Jews in World War II.