cover image Revolver


Duane Swierczynski. LB/Mulholland, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-40323-8

Edgar-finalist Swierczynski (Canary) skillfully juggles three interrelated plot lines set decades apart in this complex whodunit. In 1965, Philadelphia police officer Stan Walczak and his partner are in a bar, taking a break from their duties managing street protests in a poor neighborhood. Then someone enters with a gun, and both men are shot dead. In 1995, Stan’s son, Jim, a Philadelphia PD homicide detective, looks into the rape-murder of magazine fact checker Kelly Farrace, a case that attracts the interest of a City Hall eager for a quick resolution. In 2015, Jim’s daughter, Audrey Kornbluth, returns home from Houston to attend the unveiling of a plaque memorializing the 1965 slayings. Audrey’s on the verge of flunking out of Criminal Scene Investigator school, but she hits on the idea of reinvestigating the 50-year-old murders, a choice that not everyone in her family supports. Well-defined characters and a clever mystery more than compensate for an ending that ties up the loose ends a bit too neatly. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (July)