A bank robber turns detective to avenge the son who’s always hated him, in this turbocharged suspenser from Crais (The Forgotten Man, 2005, etc.).
The day Max Holman finally jumps through the last hoop and goes free after ten years as a guest of the state, he learns that his son Richard has been gunned down, along with three LAPD colleagues. The four cops were executed while drinking under the Fourth Street bridge, he’s told; the shooter was Warren Juarez, who had a grudge against the sergeant who’d arrested his brother, and the case is closed when Juarez obligingly commits suicide. Max doesn’t buy a word of it. He doesn’t think Juarez killed three cops more than he needed to, and he doesn’t think anybody could’ve gotten the drop on the four officers unless they knew and trusted him. With no family or friends to turn to, Max calls Katherine Pollard, the FBI agent who considered him a hero of sorts when she sent him up ten years ago, not knowing she’s left the Agency and feels as much an outsider as he does. For such an awkward pair—he’s determined to prove that Richie wasn’t the dirty cop he seemed to be; she feels she owes him something even though she’s warned by everyone around her just how toxic their association is—they click surprisingly well as a team, and soon they’ve learned enough about a missing $15 million jackpot to get themselves into serious trouble.
Dead cops, dirty cops, an unlikely romance between a law enforcement officer and a tarnished character in the City of Angels—it all sounds like L.A. Confidential, and you can be sure that Crais is aiming for the same big-ticket movie sale with a fast-moving case that reads like a 300-page treatment.