If the gang-style execution of 13-year-old John Erle Hocks isn't enough to wring Denver cop Gabe Wager's heart, there's also the murder of Gabe's cousin Julio Lucero, a kid only a few years older shot down shortly after telling Gabe he wasn't involved in any of the stuff Gabe's Aunt Louisa was worried about. Now, as Gabe interviews John Erle's school buddies and tries to figure out what he might've had on longtime gang member Big Ron Tipton, he's constantly thinking of the case he isn't assigned toJulio's murderexcept when he's worrying about why Charles Neeley, a murder suspect Gabe shot when he resisted arrest last year, has suddenly decided to sue him, and why Gabe's own lawyer thinks they have an uphill battle ahead of them. (It's because it's the only case of the three in which there's a witness who says she saw something and knows somethingeven though Gabe swears the witness this time is lying through her teeth.) Can Gabe tiptoe through the minefield of rival gangs without igniting the gang war a pesky local reporter seems determined to provoke? Solid if unspectacular work from a reliable pro (Endangered Species, 1993, etc.).