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Publishers Weekly Review
At the outset of Culver's intricately plotted third procedural featuring Det. Sgt. Ash Rashid (after 2013's The Outsider), Ash, who's currently serving on the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department community-relations team, comes across what appears to be a single car accident on his way home. He quickly discovers that the driver and passenger have been murdered while a passing Good Samaritan has been kidnapped. The passenger turns out to be the daughter of local drug lord Konstantin Bukoholov, with whom Ash has had past dealings. Unfortunately, FBI agents have discovered this connection and show surveillance footage of Ash and Konstantin to Ash's superiors. A tip from Konstantin, though, leads Ash to the Dandelion Inn, a suburban drug trafficking and sex trade site. Ash makes some questionable decisions, preferring to fight for innocents rather than adhere strictly to the law. Readers will look forward to seeing more of the complex Ash, an observant Muslim who maintains a fingernail grip on sobriety (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
This begins as a police procedural and a mighty good one. Detective Sergeant Ash Rashid of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, driving home from work, comes across a crime scene: two people executed in a crashed Mercedes. For 20-plus pages, we watch Ash deploy the prose of police work rerouting traffic, searching the ground, ordering neighbors questioned, and so on and Culver's skill makes all this obsessively readable. As the narrative goes on, the author works, with great success, to bring freshness to the genre's conventions: the hero's greenhorn partner, the meddlesome feds, the surly superior, the worried wife. Then Ash pulls a questionable stunt like so many PIs before him that puts the bad guys away. What's more important? he asks after he's caught. Following proper procedures or saving someone's life? Gumshoes can talk that way but not government employees, or so we're taught to think. Like other richly portrayed contextual details Ash's Muslim faith set against his booze problem these digressions slow the narrative a bit, but the reader won't care. This is a first-class cop novel.--Crinklaw, Don Copyright 2014 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
An Indianapolis cop is pulled way outside his comfort zoneor deeper into it?when he tangles with a sexual-slavery ring.DS Ashraf Rashid may have been reassigned to Community Service after his troubled last case (The Outsider, 2013), but he's the one who discovers a crashed Mercedes with two dead bodies sitting inside. Capt. Mike Bowers, the head of Crimes Against Persons, names Ash to head the investigation and assigns detectives Greg Doran and Tim Smith to work under him. Given their history with Ash, neither is crazy about the assignment. Smith in particular alternates between smoldering with resentment and scheming to get Ash tossed off the force. Identifying the dead bodies as those of Daniel and Kara Elliot leads Ash to the Dandelion Inn, a bed-and-breakfast that's a lot more interested in bed than breakfast, and brings him once again into a reluctant dance with someone else with whom he has a fraught history: politically connected gangster Konstantin Bukoholov, Kara's father. The revelations of human trafficking, official corruption and infighting among and within law enforcement agencies are sordid, messy and ultimately not all that interesting. What sets the tale apart is its hero: a religious Muslim with a drinking problem, a long-suffering wife and a keen delight in cutting legal and ethical corners to bring in the bad guys. Seldom has a police procedural been so aptly titled.Ash does eventually solve the case, though not to anyone's satisfaction. But even at the fade-out, it seems as if his family may have to wait a long time for his next quiet dinner with them. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.