Amos Walker has made a lot of friends - and a few enemies - in his years as a detective in Detroit, but he has never had to deal with quite the trouble he finds when he agrees to grant the deathbed wish of Beryl Garnet. Beryl was a madam with a long, successful career. She’s got no regrets about that, but she does about her son. She hasn’t seen him in a long time and would like him to know his mother never forgot him. So she asks Walker to make sure that her son gets her ashes when she’s gone.
He obliges her, finding her son, who has been in Canada since the 1960s, evading the law since he was a Vietnam War protester. A simple favor, melancholy, but benign. Except that before he can get settled back in Detroit, Garnet’s son is dead, and Walker is the prime suspect.
He has little choice but to find out who might have done the deed and tried to pin the blame on him...and in the process he discovers another murder, of a prizefighter from the 1940s. Curtis Smallwood was the father of Beryl Garnet’s son. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the two murders, fifty-three years apart, were committed with the same gun.