Three generations torn apart -- by bullets fired fifty years ago.
Philadelphia, 1965: Two street cops -- one black, one white -- are gunned down in a corner bar. One of the fallen officers, Stan Walczak, leaves behind a 12-year-old boy, Jimmy.
Philadelphia, 1995: Homicide detective Jim Walczak learns that his father's alleged killer, Terrill Lee Stanton, has been sprung from prison. Jim stalks the ex-con, hoping to finally learn the truth.
Philadelphia, 2015: Jim's daughter Audrey, a forensic science student, re-opens her grandfather's murder for a research paper. But as Audrey digs deeper, she comes to realize that Stanton probably didn't pull the trigger -- and her father may have made a horrible mistake...
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.
It reads like a screenplay aimed at 14 year olds