cover image All These Ashes

All These Ashes

James Queally. Polis, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-951709-50-1

In Queally’s outstanding sequel to 2020’s Line of Sight, PI Russell Avery, a former reporter who once covered the police beat for a Newark, N.J., newspaper, agrees to look into a cold case for police lieutenant Bill Henniman. In 1996, four teens—sisters Shayna and Adriana Bell, and two male cousins of theirs—vanished on the same night in Newark. In the weeks and months that followed, Shayna and Adriana’s older sister, Cynthia, was able to stir up some press attention, but the case went nowhere. Not until 2012 did a snitch tell Henniman that Cynthia’s ex-boyfriend, Abel Musa, admitted to trapping the teenagers in a building that he then torched. Shayna was threatening to tell her parents Musa was sleeping with her, and the other three were collateral damage in Musa’s effort to silence Shayna. Musa was convicted of murder, but now, with Musa dying of cancer, Henniman suspects he’s innocent and wants Avery to investigate. Queally gets all the details right while populating the plot with believable characters. Fans of Bruce DeSilva’s Liam Mulligan will clamor for more. Agent: James McGowan, BookEnds Literary. (Sept.)