Prosecutor’s office detective HIRAM MCGINNY investigates the murder of Columbus, Ohio’s iconic preacher and community activist, HARVARD COLLEY. The lead suspect may be the detective Hiram trained—and after one reckless night, the same detective that helped destroy Hiram’s police career and marriage to defense attorney, CHARLES LEWIS-BEST. Hiram must hunt down the truth—who killed Reverend Colley?—before the killer sets sights on the person Hiram loves most: his daughter, THANH.
It was raining when I got to the prison. I parked, cut the wipers, checked the dash clock. I was early. Since my pickup wouldn’t be out for a few minutes, I pushed my head back into the old cracked leather of my mom’s Firebird.
Miley Cyrus belted something about a wrecking ball.
Expecting a call from the prison, I dug my phone from my jeans and silenced my daughter’s joke ringtone. They’d been tardy with the warnings lately but never early. So my gut twisted to see the picture of Charles on the phone screen—it was a candid pic our 11-year-old snapped of him scrutinizing a clogged toilet.
“Thanh okay?” I asked, breathless.
He paused, then said, “Yes.”
I waited for more. When he didn’t speak, I said, “I hid her damn stick, Charles.”
“I’m not calling about that,” he spat. “Anyway, it’s not the stick. It’s the tape. You get the tape?”
Shit. I slapped the phone against my thigh and exhaled. I’d already hid the stick, the first half of the surprise gift. I kept forgetting to find the second half: the hockey stick tape. Charles hadn’t called to remind me about the tape until now, and now, he’d remind me that I’d screwed up. Again.
If he was calling about something other than Thanh? Then, I didn’t have time to deal with him.