Fey Croaker, daughter of a cop and a cop herself, and still struggling with a legacy of incest at the hands of dear, old, corrupt dad, finds herself and her team of five mired in a murder case with clues that reach back 30 years to her father and his partner Jack Kavanaugh. The dead woman is child advocate Bianca Flynn, who may have been abused by her dad, an easyonsuspectedfamilialmolesters judge, and was middivorce proceedings with a man she accused of sexual debauchery with their kids. As a newly anointed LAPD lieutenant, Fey battles departmental jealousy, but she and her handpicked squad brought over from her days at the West Hollywood precinct ignore the taunts, the practical jokes, the noncooperation and discover: what Kavanaugh's dying message means; why he added a codicil to his will leaving Fey $250,000 that can be traced back to a robbery; what the bartender at the local copbar knows; and why a con, doing hard time in San Quentin, is willing to confess to two murders but not to the one he was convicted of. More die and more kids are endangered before Croaker's late father's reputation takes another nosedive and her current investigation ends with a fireball pell-melling through a church's catacombs.
Croaker's fourth outing (Tequila Mockingbird, 1997, etc.) is peculiarly bloodless—despite car chases, sexual interludes, child porn, shoot-'em-ups, and evidence of torture. Not every cop can wrest drama from his experiences, and Bishop needs more seasoning before he can shine the badges of Waumbaugh and Caunitz.