The coldest of cold cases meets the hottest of hot-button crimes for San Francisco’s Inspector Ben Raveneau (A Killing in China Basin, 2011).
Twenty-two years ago the San Francisco Police Department took $6,100 in $100 bills from the body of Alan Krueger, a counterfeiting expert who’d left the U.S. Secret Service and gone independent. After running a check on the currency, the FBI pronounced it genuine. Now Nate Brooks, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of San Francisco, announces that the agency has changed its mind and decided the bills were the first of a new generation of superior fakes, limited by their serial numbers to a worrisome recent shipment of armaments. The Bureau’s about-face couldn’t be more timely for Ben Raveneau, of the Cold Case Unit, since he’s just received a videotape of Krueger’s murder that would have required him to reopen the case anyway. Before he’s made any real progress, however, there’s a development as unexpected as it seems unrelated: Three people are brutally murdered at David Khan’s cabinet factory minutes after a routine delivery of plywood. John Drury, the truck driver who delivered the shipment, is truculent and uncooperative, but does that make him a killer? And what’s the relation between the ancient Krueger case, the new eruption of violence and the president’s upcoming visit to San Francisco?
Dodging questions about why he’s working a cold case when there’s so much at stake in the volatile present, Raveneau connects the dots methodically and convincingly, though with little sense of urgency.