Maggie looks into the decades-old murder of a controversial copA long time ago, Roy Frady was a perfect cop. Now he’s perfect fodder for one of Maggie MacGowen’s documentaries. Frady worked narcotics in the Seventy-seventh Street Division as part of a unit nicknamed the Four Horsemen. A merry band of iron-fisted brothers, they kept their district clean of drugs until a litany of brutality charges caused their downfall. Not long after, Roy Frady was found with a 9-mm slug in his skull. The case remained unsolved for two decades. One of the Four Horsemen was Mike Trent, who went on to become a homicide detective and the love of Maggie’s life. Through the years, Frady’s file never left his desk, and as he approaches retirement he vows to close the case. Maggie plans a documentary about Mike’s investigation, unaware that she and her camera will find things in his past that are too ugly to be known.
Street life and the surreal political culture of the 1970s combine explosively, making Edgar Award winner Hornsby's fourth Maggie MacGowen novel (following Bad Intent) a tour de force. Independent filmmaker Maggie has a contract with a TV network to produce a documentary on the unsolved 1974 murder of L.A. cop Roy Frady, who made a name for himself in the LAPD's anti-gang unit, CRASH. She's especially eager for what the project may tell her about her lover, Detective Mike Flint, who was one of Frady's best friends. More than one gang member, striving for street credibility, claimed to have killed Frady, but none of their stories held up. Now, as Maggie talks to former wives and lovers of the dead cop, she finds that the trail leads to the Symbionese Liberation Army and the kidnapping of Patti Hearst. Then, just as she thinks she might be getting a handle on Frady's life and death, her sources are killed off. As devastating as the trip back to 1974 is for Maggie, it becomes even more harrowing for Mike, who must own up to the follies of his youth. Hornsby's powerful writing and her equally thought-provoking story blend to make this one of the most gripping, compelling mysteries of the year.