Buried on Avenue B
By Peter De Jonge
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061373558, 308pp.)
Publication Date: July 2012
List Price: $25.99*
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When a home health attendant, Paulette Williamson, appears at Homicide South in Manhattan, she's introduced to the NYPD's Detective Darlene O'Hara and skeptically reports the confession of a senior citizen struggling with Alzheimer's. Gus Henderson, a former junkie and petty criminal, claims he murdered and buried his former partner-in-crime in a park off Avenue B more than a decade ago, a lowlife who fell off the grid and hasn't been seen since. The city agrees to excavate the alleged scene of the crime, and the police find a bodyjust not the one they were looking for.
The cops unearth the skeleton of a ten-year-old boy, neatly dressed and buried ceremoniously with a comic book, a CD, some pot, and booze. Instead of an easy open-and-shut case, O'Hara is faced with finding the murderer of a child, and the pressure is on the newly promoted detective to prove herself. The trail takes O'Hara from the seediest corners of the city and its cast of misguided playersa coven of preteen potheads in Tompkins Square Park, a sleazy art house photographer in Chelseato a retirement community in South Florida.
Driving headlong into the dark urban underbelly to find a killer, O'Hara uncovers a tribe of criminals who brazenly prey on the weakest members of the population, and she must stop the cycle before yet another child is lost to the depths of the city.