Three generations - torn apart by one bullet.
Philadelphia 1965: Two street cops - one black, one white - are gunned down in a robbery gone wrong. The killer is never prosecuted. One of the fallen officers, Stanislaw Walczak, leaves behind a twelve-year-old boy, Jimmy...
Philadelphia 1995: Homicide detective Jim Walczak learns that his father's alleged killer, Terrill Lee Stanton, is out of prison. Walczak will be waiting, determined to squeeze the truth out of him - any way he can.
Philadelphia 2015: Jim Walczak's daughter Audrey, studying forensic science in grad school, reinvestigates her grandfather's murder for her dissertation. But the deeper Audrey digs, the more she realises: the man everyone thinks killed Walczak didn't do it...
And when the truth comes out, the danger's only going to grow.
Edgar-finalist Swierczynski (Canary) skillfully juggles three interrelated plot lines set decades apart in this complex whodunit. In 1965, Philadelphia police officer Stan Walczak and his partner are in a bar, taking a break from their duties managing street protests in a poor neighborhood. Then someone enters with a gun, and both men are shot dead. In 1995, Stan's son, Jim, a Philadelphia PD homicide detective, looks into the rape-murder of magazine fact checker Kelly Farrace, a case that attracts the interest of a City Hall eager for a quick resolution. In 2015, Jim's daughter, Audrey Kornbluth, returns home from Houston to attend the unveiling of a plaque memorializing the 1965 slayings. Audrey's on the verge of flunking out of Criminal Scene Investigator school, but she hits on the idea of reinvestigating the 50-year-old murders, a choice that not everyone in her family supports. Well-defined characters and a clever mystery more than compensate for an ending that ties up the loose ends a bit too neatly.