Ikmen and Süleyman are removed from their familiar surroundings of Istanbul for
the harsh, alien environment of Detroit. The reason for the visit is an
International Police conference hosted by the Detroit Police Department on
"Policing in Changing Urban Environments". The conference speakers
veer from exponents of zero tolerance to those who believe in help through
For Lieutenant Gerald Diaz
it is just another day, just another wasted life as he examines the body of a
young boy shot on his way to school. Diaz is drawn away from this as he needs
to attend the conference, to show visiting officers around the Antoine Cadillac
project, in particular to meet Martha Bell who, against the odds, has set up
the Luther Bell Food Patch in memory of her son, another drive by victim. She
has battled to keep the garden going and to get others involved to grow food
and help the community to have a positive force; all of which has been
supported by Diaz, who sees it as the future of the city.
While looking around the
project, Ikmen and Süleyman are approached by an agitated, elderly man - Zeke
Goins - to ask for help in bringing his son's killer to justice. The case had
been one of Diaz's first and thirty years later no-one has been charged for the
murder but Zeke is convinced that Grant T Miller, rich, powerful and an extreme
racist is responsible. Zeke who is a Melungeon believes that he is descended
from shipwrecked Ottoman sailors and sees the arrival of the Turkish officers
as a sign that he will have justice. Ikmen, still coming to terms with the
death of his own son, feels sympathy with Zeke but is convinced by Diaz not to
get involved. As the conference draws to a close, a dramatic turn of events
means that Süleyman returns to Istanbul alone.
In Ikmen and Süleyman's
absence Sergeants Ayse Farsakoglu and Izzet Melik have grown closer. Ayse has
been investigating and become preoccupied wih the circumstances leading up to
the release of a notorious rapist; Izzet concerned for her has been providing
support. Süleyman, relieved at returning from rundown Detroit is less than
pleased at the blossoming of the relationship.
extended stay in Detroit has him more directly involved with the Detroit Police
Department; as an outsider he is trusted when it becomes apparent that all is
not as it should be within the department. Ikmen sees more of the seedy side of
Detroit than he might wish but his visit finally draws to a pleasant close with
lunch at Martha Bell's with Zeke and some Motown in the background.
Over the decades hatred,
power and corruption have combined to deprive an old man of his son, of justice
or even answers but he doesn't totally give up hope of a solution. Although the
troubled, drug-fuelled, sometimes depraved side of Detroit is depressing, the
warmth, strength and determination of people like Martha Bell shines through.
This fourteenth book in the Inspector Ikmen series does not disappoint.