Washington, D.C., reporter Sully Carter returns in a thrilling murder mystery of race, wealth, and corruption, by the author of The Ways of the Dead

When Billy Ellison, the son of Washington, D.C.’s most influential African-American family, is found dead in the Potomac near a violent drug haven, veteran metro reporter Sully Carter knows it’s time to start asking some serious questions—no matter what the consequences. With the police unable to find a lead and pressure mounting for Sully to abandon the investigation, he has a hunch that there is more to the case than a drug deal gone bad or a tale of family misfortune. Digging deeper, Sully finds that the real story stretches far beyond Billy and into D.C.’s most prominent social circles. An alcoholic still haunted from his years as a war correspondent in Bosnia, Sully now must strike a dangerous balance between D.C.’s two extremes—the city’s violent, desperate back streets and its highest corridors of power—while threatened by those who will stop at nothing to keep him from discovering the shocking truth.

The follow-up to last year’s acclaimed The Ways of the Dead, this gritty mystery showcases Tucker’s talent for spot-on dialogue, authentic characters, and complex narrative.



“This second novel from a veteran newspaper reporter has remained lodged in my mind all year….razor-sharp dialogue and a taste for delicate irony that would make Elmore Leonard envious.”
—Geoffrey Wansell, The Daily Mail, (U.K.), naming “Murder” as one of top three crime novels of 2015.

“[Tucker] puts forth a darkly comedic vision of race and justice (or lack thereof) over generations of American history. There’s no more satisfying sight than a writer who knows exactly what he’s doing—and only gets better at what he does.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The test of a crime series is its main character, and Sully is someone we’ll want to read about again and again. . . . When the murder victim in the novel is identified as the young scion of one of the city’s most wealthy and influential African American families, the story expands its themes of race and class, which lend it dimension.”                              —Lisa Scottoline, The Washington Post

“In all respects, Tucker’s second novel improves and impresses. . . . Tucker’s skill in examining racial questions separates this novel from the well-populated pack. . . . Tucker at his best recalls the work of Richard Price. . . . Terrific summer reading. With his second success, Tucker has proven that his series is one to follow.”
The Miami Herald

“[An] invigorating series. . . . The traits that will make this (one hopes) a long and strong series are evident in both books: the realistic dialogue, the vivid characters and the portrayal of our nation’s capital as a city with many facets other than the one tourists see.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Tucker has an ear for dialogue, which in this book resembles that of TV’s The Wire.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Displaying a fantastic ear for dialog, Tucker delivers a harrowing and compelling story, brimming with authentic street talk and local idioms. His characters are also convincing, true to life, and diverse. While the novel shares similarities with works by George Pelecanos in terms of locale, subject matter, and a flair for replicating everyday speech, Tucker’s voice is very much his own.”
Library Journal

“The ghost of Elmore Leonard floats over these pages. . . . A noir treasure.”

“Spot-on dialogue and a vividly described setting.”
Publishers Weekly