This taut, gritty novel introduces Eddy Harkness, who was once the young, rising star of the Boston P.D.'s narcotics unit. But a tragic incident cost him his career in the big city, and Eddy, now twenty-nine, is reduced to working on the police force of Nagog, Massachusetts, the small town outside of Boston where he was born and raised.
For Eddy, it's been a particularly long and humbling fall, especially given his assignment for the Nagog P.D., which is emptying the town's parking meters. Then, to compound matters, on the anniversary of the event that cost him his job in Boston, Eddy gets roaring drunk, behaves very badly and, sometime during the course of the evening, loses the service revolver that the town has issued him.
Eddy is determined to recover the weapon and his effort to do so turns into a desperate quest to find some sort of redemption. The search drags him down into the seamy underside of this community that appears so bucolic on the surface and ensnares him in a web of crime and corruption along with an unusual mix of characters, some of whom are very badly bent, and many of whom are as desperate, each in his or her own way, as Eddy Harkness.
It's a gripping story, populated by characters that are fresh and intriguing. One of the blurbs on the cover suggests that Eddy Harkness is a "worthy successor" to Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone. But as much as I admired Parker's work, and as much as I enjoyed most of the Jesse Stone novels, I think that this book is much more complex and ultimately a much better read than some of the later Jesse Stone books. I'm really looking forward to the second book in the series.