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Grady Homes, a project in the city of Atlanta, is run down and the residents are prostitutes, pimps, and drug dealers. The few decent citizens living there are doing so because they have no other choice so they just try to stay behind closed doors and practice ignoring what goes on around them. When the police are called to Grady Homes there never is a big hurry to get there. The response time is at least 30 minutes or longer.
Michael Ormewood, a detective with the Atlanta Police Department, took his time responding in his latest call to Grady Homes. The victim is a prostitute and her death is vicious and violent. Her tongue has been bitten off. Ormewood doesnít show much in the way of sympathy.
Special Agent Will Trent shows up on the scene to help out the Atlanta Police and particularly Detective Ormewood in the search for the murderer. Trent has a special interest in the case because he has several unsolved cases where teen-age girls are violently attacked and some of the circumstances are the same although the girls did survive. The attacker wore a black ski mask so could not be identified.
The author takes us back in time to a murder in 1985 where a teen-aged boy is convicted. His name is John Shelly and he has just been released on parole. How does John fit into this story? He is haunted by his prison time and swears he didnít commit the crime. The only person that ever really believed in him was his mother and she worked daily to find a way to get him released from prison.
The author also introduces us to Angie Polaski a police officer working vice. Angie has a history with Michael and grew up with Will Trent although Michael is not aware of this fact.
So what we have here is one big puzzle that will keep you guessing. The book is filled with suspense and not short on violence. I was confused at first about the connection between the different characters but it soon all became clear. The characters seem real and I very much enjoyed the story.