Three years ago, a child's death sent one innocent man to prison and blew open a vortex of corruption at the heart of Manhattan's lucrative construction industry. Joe Cole was that innocent man. A former Buildings Department inspector, the ex-con now lives a broken life, cut off from his wife and daughter, and from the city he loves. But a woman's murder and the death of a young man rip open old wounds--plunging Joe and his former partner, a beautiful, hard-charging investigator, into the darkest corners of the city and into a desperate race to expose the secrets that help the powerful hide their crimes.
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December 26, 2006
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Excerpt from In This Rain by S. J. Rozan
Ann Montgomery sped up the Thruway thinking about Joe Cole's garden.
The old garden, the one at the house that wasn't Joe's anymore: she couldn't keep her mind off it. Its chaos of color and scent, shape and size. Its bright gleams and secret shadows.
How amazed she'd been, the first time she'd seen it. Joe had led her through the house, a shipshape sparseness that didn't surprise her, suiting well her new partner, so precise, methodical, soft-spoken, and civil. The wood floors and white walls stood in quiet contrast to the asphalt anarchy outside the front door; but outside the back she found a wild extravagance that stopped her, openmouthed. She'd turned to Joe to find out who the gardener was, himself or the thin-lipped Ellie who'd looked her up and down at the door. But Joe's eyes weren't on her. She followed his gaze to a vine loosed from its stake, a flower head faded but not yet cut, and she didn't have to ask.
Intense, powerful, this memory of Joe and his garden: but not enough to distract her from the highway or her location on it. She was coming up on the exit she'd never taken, that led to the college she'd never been near. There, the concert hall, to honor the man whose will endowed it, bore his name, which was the same as hers.
Ann added speed, pushing the car through curves. As she'd done for distraction and for buttressing since she was nine, she called Jen.
Not that Jen would answer. Sunday morning? Once, they'd been party animals together, dancing wherever the music was, drinking whatever was served, and though Ann these days preferred her own den, Jen was still joyfully on the prowl.