Retired from the NYPD, Bill Donovan is back after a five-year hiatus, looking for happiness and the man he hopes can cure his son.
Mrs. Donovan’s money can buy a lot of comforts, from a Greenwich Village townhouse to her husband’s retirement, but it can’t make her son Danny walk. So her husband goes in search of Riverside University geneticist Patrick McGowan, whose research just might be able to help Danny. The only problem is that McGowan’s been AWOL for years. While Donovan and son are poking around in the Franks Library, they hear a cry for help from behind a wall—a cry that leads them to Gregorio Paz, the janitor who dies as they watch. His fatal bashing in the tunnels beneath Manhattan reunites Donovan with his old friend Lt. Brian Moskowitz, who’s taken over the NYPD’s Department of Special Investigations. It also brings him back together with his other son, Patrolman Lewis Rodriguez, and his mother, barmaid Rosalie Rodriguez, in ways guaranteed to put serious strain on his marriage. The investigation will take Donovan back to the Manhattan Project and the Cuban missile crisis—and, more important, back to his own past, the crucible of the man he’s surprised to find he’s become.
As usual in this series (Murder in Coney Island, 2003, etc.), there’s less mystery than personal history, with Jahn’s customary loving attention to New York City.