Twenty years ago, in 1983, Detective Francis X. Loughlin put away 17-year-old Julian Vega for the vicious murder of a young female doctor with a hammer. Vega has served out his sentence and has been recently released. But another young female doctor is murdered in Manhattan, and Loughlin can't help figuring Vega for the suspect.
But a DNA test of skin under the new victim's nails not only doesn't implicate Vega, but turns out to contain the genes of the girl killed 20 years before! Loughlin has to order the earlier victim exhumed and reexamined. Where was a mistake made? Could he have put the wrong person away the first time?
Along with the pressure on his record, Detective Loughlin has another secret he doesn't even want to share with his wife: he's going steadily blind. The story also views events, past and present, from the point of view of the suspect Vega as he tries to make his way in society, tries to remember the events of the crime for which he was convicted, and gets to know a pretty young cartoonist from Prishtina named Zana.
Blauner's 2006 novel, his sixth, is a compelling thriller that garnered high praise from Stephen King.
This report prepared by David Loftus