Investigating the murder of a fellow cop is especially dicey when the victim has a horde of enemies.
After alcoholic NYPD officer David Lodge blacks out during a particularly lively shift with his partner and guardian Dante Russo, he wakes up the prime suspect in the brutal murder of street thug Clarence Spott. With no memory of events, Lodge has little choice but to plead guilty. Seven years later, hard-boiled detective Harry Corbin is called with his partner Adele Bentibi to investigate the murder of Lodge, cut down on a city street shortly after his release from Attica. Lodge’s grim widow Ellen has nothing but bitterness for her husband, the protestors who reviled him and the police department she believes sold him out. This last view gains traction with Corbin when he learns that the NYPD has managed to misplace the Lodge file. Nor can he question retired cop Anthony Szarek, the key witness who provided Russo with an alibi and placed Lodge with Spott, because Szarek inconveniently committed suicide two weeks before Lodge’s release. Corbin treks out to Attica, where wary fellow con Peter Jarazelsky carefully describes Lodge’s fear of revenge from a certain inmate, declining to be more specific. When Corbin and Bentibi try to come at the case via Szarek’s suicide, they encounter more opposition and obfuscation from the police. And so it goes.
Knightly’s debut is overloaded with familiar plot elements, but his gritty style promises better Corbin cases in the future.