Twenty-three-year-old Koryta was nominated for a 2005 Edgar for his first Lincoln Perry novel Tonight I Said Goodbye (2004). Though Koryta was a criminal-justice major in college, his lean prose would do any English department proud. In this third installment in the series, Perry, a Cleveland cop-turned-PI, faces his most personal case: the brutal slaying of Alex Jefferson, a lawyer who married Karen, Perry's one-time fiancee. Perry's grudge against Jefferson is no secret; he once assaulted the attorney and lost his police badge as a result. In the wake of Jefferson's murder, Karen hires Perry to find the victim's long-estranged son. Perry soon finds himself the chief suspect in Jefferson's murder, framed by a pair of nefarious souls with both motive and means. Perry's gruff but shrewd partner, Joe (also a former cop), proves instrumental in the investigation. But since taking a bullet to the shoulder, he is not so sure he wants to return to his job full-time. Koryta's villains occasionally border on caricature, but that does little to distract from this otherwise top-notch thriller.