Ronald "Strike" Dunham is a gangly, young, recently-promoted "clocker" (corner drug dealer) in the New Jersey projects with a perforated ulcer. He has street-smarts, and he knows that he should do something better with his life, but he continues to run drug crews for his boss Rodney, dreaming over a "someday" escape. Rocco Klein is a middle-aged, hard-drinking, burnt-out homicide detective with a less-than-happy marriage and a young daughter. He also dreams of greater things, and being a better, more successful man than he is. When one of Rodney's young employees is shot, Rocco is surprised when Victor Dunham, Strike's hard-working, upstanding older brother confesses that he committed the crime in self-defense. Rocco believes Strike to be the real killer (acting on Rodney's orders), and begins a risky, personal crusade that may end his career to establish Victor's innocence. As the novel unfolds and Rocco pursues Strike, Strike's world closes in around him in other ways: his conflicts with Rodney intensify, he becomes increasingly alienated from his "crew," and he draws heat from another cop because of Strike's interest in recruiting and impressing a young boy.
This report prepared by A. J. Bell