A Detroit crime reporter is still haunted by a 30-year-old mystery in her own family.
Julia Gooden’s already dysfunctional family was split apart when her 9-year-old brother vanished and was never found, feeding her paranoia over the safety of her own two sons. Julia has split up with her husband, David Tanner, a prosecutor for the district attorney’s office, but is now pursuing a trial plan to get back together with him. When Julia’s interest in the real story about Detroit's reputed crime boss, Nick Rossi, conflicts with David’s latest case, she goes to other sources, like her former boyfriend police Detective Raymond Navarro and his partner, Leroy Russell, to get some dirt on Rossi’s upcoming trial. Julia cannot winkle the identity of a new witness out of David, but plenty of other people know it’s Sammy Biggs, and plans have been made to prevent him from testifying. When a bomb goes off as Julia and Navarro approach the courthouse, her first thought is for her son Logan, who’s on a class trip to the courthouse. Biggs and several other people are killed and David is severely injured, but Logan escapes unharmed. As her husband clings to life in the hospital, Julia, already paranoid about her family’s safety, resolves to find out what happened. Working her sources hard, she comes up with some information she wasn’t prepared to hear, including some about her husband’s love affairs. With Navarro’s help, Julia starts to untangle a complex series of crimes. Now if only she lives to file the story…
Haseldine (The Last Time She Saw Him, 2016) uses her experience as a crime reporter to bring authenticity to this exciting and gritty tale, though it has perhaps a few too many complications for a smooth flow.