Gus Ramone is "good police," a former Internal Affairs investigator now working homicide for the city's Violent Crime branch. His new case involves the death of a local teenager named Asa whose body has been found in a local community garden. The murder unearths intense memories of a case Ramone worked as a patrol cop twenty years earlier, when he and his partner, Dan "Doc" Holiday, assisted a legendary detective named T. C. Cook. The series of murders, all involving local teenage victims, was never solved. In the years since, Holiday has left the force under a cloud of morals charges, and now finds work as a bodyguard and driver. Cook has retired, but he has never stopped agonizing about the "Night Gardener" killings. The new case draws the three men together on a grim mission to finish the work that has haunted them for years. All the love, regret, and anger that once burned between them comes rushing back, and old ghosts walk once more as the men try to lay to rest the monster who has stalked their dreams.
They could not know that this would be the last victim of the Palindrome Killer. For now, there was only a dead teenager, one of three unsolved, and someone out there, somewhere, doing the murders. On a cool rainy night in December 1985, two young uniformed police and a middle-aged homicide detective were on the scene. pg. 10
Over the desks of the detectives were corkboards, many displaying photos of children, wives, and other relatives alongside death photos of victims and apprehended but unconvicted perps who had become obsessions. Crucifixes, pictures of saints, and psalm quotes were in abundance. Many of the VCB detectives were devout Christians, others only claimed they were, and some had lost their faith in God completely. pg. 50-51
He had been a cop, and then he wasn't. Now he wore a stupid hat, made conversation with people who did not interest him at all, and jockeyed luggage in and out of the trunk of a car. pg 83