The award-winning crime reporter and author of Sons of the City returns with a searing novel of justice, politics, and race Sometimes the hardest thing for a cop is to do the right thing. When a black city councilman is badly beaten on a West Philadelphia street, he fingers two of Sergeant Eddie North's cops. They deny it. Eddie, uncertain of what really happened, decides to back his men--and finds himself accused of a conspiracy to cover up the truth. The media, the politicians, and the public are outraged. Then a man in a black ski mask begins assassinating cops. As Eddie races to learn the truth about the beating, more trouble erupts. A fellow sergeant has taken advantage of the confusion and formed a ring of corrupt officers--including one of the two accused cops for whom Eddie is risking everything. The widening conflict between the police and the black community is mirrored by the battle of cop against cop. With the stakes so high, there can be no winners ... just those strong enough--and lucky enough--to survive.