A vulnerable kid. A brutal enemy. An addled ally.
Blood runs cold on Harlem's hottest summer night when drive-by assassins shoot up a crowded playground, killing the teenaged friend of private eye SJ Rook. Only fourteen, the kid was smart, affectionate, and alive with potential. His sudden death strikes Rook through the heart. Was this boy the victim of a cruel accident or was he targeted by gang hitmen in a ruthless display of power?
To find the killers, Rook must enlist the help of another teen, Whip, a mysterious runaway witness. Whip is a transgender boy whose life on the streets has drawn him into the realm of a violent mob kingpin. Bruised and discouraged by his mother's rejection, Whip doesn't want to be found. Not by the cops or by community do-gooders. And certainly not by Rook, a resolute stranger with vengeance on his mind. Rook's search for the elusive kid requires persistence, street-level diplomacy, and guts. The quest becomes a dangerous trek through the meanest corners of his neighborhood. Racing from desolate homeless camps to urban swamps, from settlement houses to high-rise palaces ruled by greed and corruption, the determined Rook pursues his quarry. An unexpected twist in the detective's relationship with his crime-fighting partner, Sabrina Ross, threatens to derail his mission while deepening their personal connection.
In this fourth book in the Ross Agency Mystery series, Rook confronts his toughest assignment yet. Noble tramps, vicious thugs, and a pint-sized trigger woman complicate Rook's efforts to protect Whip. When a crime prince and a hobo hold the boy's life in the balance, will Rook's grit and imagination be enough to save Whip and bring the killers to justice?