A confession fifty years in the making puts everyone’s favorite Paris détéctive très chic, Aimée Leduc, on a collision course with the “Hand,” a cabal of corrupt Parisian cops among who masterminded her father's murder—and among whose ranks he might have once found membership. When a friend’s child is kidnapped while wearing her daughter’s hoodie, Aimée realizes that the case has crossed into the realm of the personal in more ways than one.
A dying man drags his oxygen machine into the office of Éric Besson, a lawyer in Paris’s 13th arrondissement. The old man, an accountant, is carrying a dilapidated notebook full of meticulous investment records. For decades, he has been helping a cadre of dirty cops launder stolen money. The notebook contains his full confession—he’s waited 50 years to make it, and now it can’t wait another day. He is adamant that Besson get the notebook into the hands of La Proc, Paris’s chief prosecuting attorney, so the corruption can finally be brought to light. But en route to La Proc, Besson’s courier—his assistant and nephew—is murdered, and the notebook disappears.
Grief-stricken Éric Besson tries to hire private investigator Aimée Leduc to find the notebook, but she is reluctant to get involved. Her father was a cop and was murdered by the same dirty syndicate the notebook implicates. She’s not sure which she’s more afraid of, the dangerous men who would kill for the notebook or the idea that her father’s name might be among the dirty cops listed within it. Ultimately that’s the reason she must take the case, which leads her across the Left Bank, from the Cambodian enclave of Khmer Rouge refugees to the ancient royal tapestry factories to the modern art galleries.
In bestseller Black's fast-paced 18th Aim e Leduc investigation (after 2017's Murder in Saint-Germain), L o Solomon, an elderly retired accountant in poor health, insists that lawyer ric Besson, whose late mother was a friend of L o's, deliver a notebook containing his handwritten confession and evidence of decades of police corruption to Paris's chief prosecuting attorney. ric asks his 18-year-old nephew, Marcus, to act as courier, but Marcus never reaches his destination. When the boy's body turns up on the street two days later, the police rule the death a drug-related homicide. ric asks his friend Aim e to investigate. Aim e, a new mother, reluctantly takes on the case only when she discovers that her late father is implicated by information in the now-missing notebook. When the killer threatens her daughter, Aim e is forced to accept help from the source she trusts least: her family. Once again Black combines a twist-filled mystery with a convincing look at the culture and politics of the City of Lights.