Harlem private eye SJ Rook wants to forget his past. Ex-soldier, ex-drunk, ex-tramp are titles he’s eager to bury. He’s building a new life at a neighborhood detective agency. And he’s working on a solid relationship with his crime-fighting partner, Sabrina Ross. But without warning, Rook’s past returns with a vengeance in the enticing form of his ex-wife. Visiting New York for a convention, Annie Perry is a self-made millionaire with more than business on her mind. She’s confident, alluring, and ready to rekindle feelings Rook thought he’d left far behind.
When Annie is murdered shortly after their reunion, her death sends Rook over the edge. To find her killer, he must delve into her past, even if it hurts. There’s the oily vice president and the angelic business associate, plus the three thousand people who attended the conference. But Rook’s suspicions focus on a clutch of university professors who buzzed around his ex-wife. Driven by grief and distracted by jealousy, Rook digs into fraught campus politics and buried scholarly history in his search for the truth. Violence and betrayal dog his investigation. Rook learns that envy, greed, and fraud are not merely academic.