by Bruce TierneySeptember 2004
Murder in the District
A car pulls to the curb after dark in a marginal Washington, D.C., neighborhood; drug dealer Skeeter Hodges sits in the driver's seat talking to longtime pal and partner in crime Pencil Crawford. A hail of bullets rips through the vehicle, leaving Skeeter dead and Pencil badly wounded. Officers Frank Kearney and Jose Phelps are assigned to the case and given the task of closing a boatload of open homicides by determining which ones can be attributed to the freshly departed Mr. Hodges. The more, the better, according to their beleaguered boss a not unreasonable position, considering that close to one-third of all murders in the District go unsolved. The ballistics report on the bullets throws them a curve, however: it turns out that the same gun that killed Hodges had been used in the earlier killing of a congressional aide, and the connection threatens to open up a political can of worms that may well rattle the halls of legislation. A Murder of Justice is number three in a series; author Robert Andrews should be required reading for police procedural fans worldwide.