From author Trudy Nan Boyce, whose police procedural debut was hailed as “authentic” (NYTBR) and “exceptional” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel), returns with a stunning prequel to the Detective Salt series, the story behind the case that earned Salt her promotion to homicide.
At the beginning of her career, Sarah “Salt” Alt was a beat cop in Atlanta’s poorest, most violent housing project, The Homes. It is here that she meets the cast of misfits and criminals that will have a profound impact on her later cases: Man Man, the leader of the local gang on his way to better places; street dealer Lil D and his family; and Sister Connelly, old and observant, the matriarch of the neighborhood. A lone patrolwoman, Salt’s closest lifeline is her friend and colleague Pepper, on his own beat nearby. And when a murder in The Homes brings detectives to the scene, Salt draws closer to Detective Wills, initiating a romance complicated by their positions on the force.
When Salt is shot and sustains a head injury during a routine traffic stop, the resulting visions begin leading her toward answers in the case that makes her career. This is the tale of a woman who solves crimes through a combination of keen observation, grunt work, and pure gut instinct; this is the making of Detective Salt.
A timely and penetrating mystery about the intersection of policing, racism, and the community—set in a city at its boiling point—from an author who’s been in the trenches and seen it all.
A senseless act of violence.
During a vigil calling for police reform, students from Spelman College, a historically black women’s institution, are assaulted by rifle fire from a passing vehicle. On her way to interview witnesses, Detective Sarah “Salt” Alt confronts the fleeing vehicle of the suspects, but they get away.
A city in turmoil.
While other detectives take the lead on the Spelman murders, Salt is tasked to investigate the case of a recently discovered decomposed body. When she combs through the missing-persons reports, it becomes clear the victim is a girl Salt took into custody two years before, and Salt feels a grave responsibility to learn the truth about how the girl died. But before she can pursue any leads, Salt is called onto emergency riot detail—in the wake of the assault on the Spelman students, Atlanta has reached the boiling point.
In a city burdened by history and a community erupting in pain and anger, Salt must delve into the past for answers. A gripping and astute story about what it means to serve and protect, Old Bones solidifies Trudy Nan Boyce as an evocative, authoritative voice in crime fiction.
“A fresh, gritty debut. Boyce unveils one of the best new series characters in ages. . . A book that combines fast-paced suspense with moving insights.”—#1 New York Times-bestselling author Lisa Gardner
From an author with more than thirty years’ experience in the Atlanta Police Department comes a riveting procedural debut introducing an unforgettable heroine.
On her first day as a newly minted homicide detective, Sarah “Salt” Alt is given the cold-case murder of a blues musician whose death was originally ruled an accidental drug overdose. Now new evidence has come to light that he may have been given a hot dose intentionally. And this evidence comes from a convicted felon hoping to trade his knowledge for shortened prison time . . . a man who Salt herself put behind bars.
In a search that will take her into the depths of Atlanta’s buried wounds—among the city’s homeless, its politically powerful churches, commerce and industry, and the police department itself—Salt probes her way toward the truth in a case that has more at stake than she ever could have imagined. At once a vivid procedural and a penetrating examination of what it means to be cop, Out of the Blues is a remarkable crime debut.