A police detective returning to his Midwestern hometown is confronted by an unending stream of new crimes when he’d rather be investigating an old mystery close to his heart.
After killing a snitch who’d shot and wounded him, Hud Matthews was politely asked to leave the Detroit PD. Now he’s back home working for police chief Paul Burke, a man he’s spent most of his life not much liking. On “the perfect kind of day for someone to find a dead body,” someone leaves the corpse of Pamela Lynn Sizemore, a jobless junkie, half in and half out of Demmie Lake. The obvious suspect would seem to be some unpaid dealer who wanted to make an example of her, unless it’s one of the dozens of lowlifes her downward path has crossed. The case gets seriously complicated by the murder of Kaye Sherman, who worked in a medical office that could have been feeding Pam’s habit, and even more baffling when Kaye’s husband, Conservation Officer Leo Sherman, who’s gone on the run, gets shot down just as Hud’s finally at the point of taking him in. As Burke aptly notes, however, Hud’s heart isn’t really in the case no matter how tangled and violent it gets. What he really wants to do is solve the mystery of his mother’s disappearance back when he was 8 years old. Certain that she wouldn’t have abandoned him, he’s convinced she was murdered. But what are the chances of bucking Burke to solve an ancient crime nobody else even believes was a crime when the townsfolk are stuck in a much more obvious nightmare?
Versatile Sweazy (See Also Deception, 2016, etc.) punctuates the lawman’s quest, laid-back yet urgent, with snatches of flash-forward dialogue that warn you not to expect a series. Well, we’ll see.