Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 1992.
On an urban battleground dangerously divided along racial lines, probation officer Steve Baum is desperately struggling to hold on to the last remaining shreds of his idealism—until Darryl King invades his world. A deranged young sociopath, one of the most bloodthirsty creations of a diseased society, Darryl has come to drag Baum along with him into an inescapable morass of terror and corruption. And as their ravaged city explodes, they will stand face-to-face—mortal enemies trapped together in the heart of a devastating inferno that threatens to consume them both.
Neal Carey is not your usual private eye. A graduate student at Columbia University, he grew up on the streets of New York, usually on the wrong side of the law. Then he met Joe Graham, a one-armed P.I. who introduced him to the Bank, an exclusive New England institution with a sideline in keeping its wealthy clients happy and out of trouble. They pay Neal’s college tuition, and Neal gets an education that can’t be found in any textbook—from learning how to trail a suspect to mastering the proper way to search a room.
Now its payback time. The Bank wants Neal to put his skills to work in finding Allie Chase, the rebellious teenage daughter of a prominent senator. The problem: Allie has gone underground in London, and to get her back, Neal has to follow her into the punk scene, a violent netherworld where drugs run rampant and rage is the name of the game. Up against punk junkies, antique book thieves, and murderous betrayal, Neal has his work cut out for him to save Allie—and get back above ground for good.
Katherine Driscoll is just three weeks away from disaster: foreclosure on her home and business, even the sale of her beloved dog. She has no hope of raising the $91,000 she so desperately needs—until the father she hasn’t seen for thirty years writes to her, offering her enough money to solve her problems…if she will do one thing in return.
But Katherine may never learn what that is. When she arrives in Austin, she is hours too late: her father has died in a bizarre accident. As she sifts through the cryptic notes he left behind, she finds herself caught up in terrible family secrets—and a deadly illicit trade. The more she learns, the more determined she becomes to prove her father’s death was no accident. In doing so, Katherine will make a bitter enemy—one desperate enough to kill…and perhaps, kill again.