NYPD detective Lex Cole tracks a missing Brooklyn teen whose bright future is endangered by the ghosts of his unknown father's past, in this highly anticipated sequel to A Map of the Dark.
One of the few black kids on his Brighton Beach block, Titus "Crisp" Crespo was raised by his white mother and his Russian grandparents. He has two legacies from his absent father, Mo: his weird name and his brown skin. Crisp has always been the odd kid out, but a fundamentally good kid, with a bright future.
But one impulsive decision triggers a horrible domino effect--an arrest, no reason not to accompany his richer, whiter friend Glynnie on a visit to her weed dealer, and a trip onto his father's old home turf where he'll face certain choices he's always strived to avoid.
As Detective Lex Cole tries to unravel the clues from Crisp's night out, they both find that what you don't know about your past can still come back to haunt you.
The day before his graduation in Manhattan, Stuyvesant High School valedictorian Titus "Crisp" Crespo, who is of mixed race, encounters a racist cop in Brooklyn while bicycling home in Ellis's contrived second crime novel featuring FBI agent Elsa Myers (after 2018's A Map of the Dark). The cop orders Crisp to ride toward him, and then charges Crisp with riding a bike on the sidewalk. When Crisp objects, the officer cuffs him for resisting arrest. As a result, Crisp is behind bars when the commencement ceremony occurs. Upon his release, Crisp connects with a stereotypical bored affluent white teenager, Glynnie Dreyfus, and agrees to accompany her to Red Hook, where Crisp's father, whom he never met, grew up, so that she can replenish her pot supply. Before long, both Crisp and Glynnie are reported missing and someone has been shot to death. Myers plays a limited role in the case, and the interwoven story line of Lex Cole, the NYPD detective assigned to find Crisp, fails to engage. Readers will hope that Ellis uses fewer coincidences to drive her plot next time.