Veteran NYPD detectives Joe Gregory and Anthony Ryan make their fourth appearance in Edward Dee's Nightbird. The longtime partners know the boroughs, the worlds, and underworlds of urban New York as intimately as the cop saloon they frequent. When Broadway actress Gillian Stone plunges many stories to her death, many assume suicide. This theory is bolstered when the detectives learn that her employer, producer Trey Winters, had requested that the young woman submit to a drug test. If she'd been using, her career would halt.

But word filters down that Gillian and Winters were lovers. And the case is complicated by the detectives' discovery that Danny Eumont, Ryan's nephew, had once been involved with the dead woman. What begins as a routine case becomes a complex and personal challenge to the partners.

Edward Dee, an ex-New York detective, paints backdrops with authenticity and cynicism. Gregory and Ryan, purposeful and sharp, take different approaches to crime solution, yet blend their insights to reach resolutions.

Tom Corcoran is the Florida-based author of The Mango Opera and the new Florida Keys mystery, Gumbo Limbo, both from St. Martin's.

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