Fifteen years ago, Mary Anne Cromway was stalked by a violent psychopath that police were never able to identify. As the stalker became more obsessive and threatening, her boyfriend Bobby went missing. The town assumed that troublemaking Bobby had been playing a trick and had decided to run away when he got in too deep—or that Mary Anne was behind all of it herself. They were especially suspicious when the stalker disappeared right after Bobby did.
Fifteen years later, Mary Anne received another note from her stalker. She knew exactly who to go to for help.
Dozens of family members and loved ones who never got any closure call Detective Al Harris to look into their cold cases. He ignores most of them, trying to get back to focusing on not doing any real work. Then a particularly persistent woman piques his interest. Her son died on a fishing trip with his friends almost a decade ago—seemingly just a tragic accident. But his mother is certain that it was no accident. When enough details don’t line up, the detective agrees to take on the case, even if it means the end of his career.
In an small mid-west town, suspicions and fear never truly die.
Detective Al Harris faces one of the most prolific serial killers in the history of the Midwest. The case has remained unsolved for forty years and is the reason why he was hired to work in the cold case department in Woodlawn in the first place. The murderer was dubbed the “Woodlawn Killer” during his murderous spree in the eighties.
An invitation to help solve a twenty-year-old robbery is extended to Detective Al Harris. But, the case quickly takes on a mythical quality when the stolen money is recovered by a couple of boys who followed a map to the spot where it was buried. However, as the detective delves deeper he realizes that just because no one was killed in the robbery, it doesn’t mean that no one was affected by it. With hardly any evidence and only the word of a couple of preteen boys to go on, the detective requires all hands on deck to solve this one.
Al Harris is not, and was not ever, an art connoisseur. But when a desperate young Jewish woman comes to him, convinced that her family’s stolen art is hidden somewhere in Woodlawn, Al is persuaded to take the case, as unlikely as it is that priceless European art has ended up in this small town. Tracking down the goods will also mean delving into another unsolved case, a murder that took place in the 1950s—a case that is perhaps too cold for even Al to solve.
With his new secretary Judy at his side, Al takes on the double case and attempts to help a family put the ghosts of the horrific war—and what it cost them—to rest once more. That is, if the issues in the police department don’t put a stop to the whole thing
When Harris starts to investigate the disappearance of a young boy twenty years ago, he thinks that it’s going to be a sad but open-and-shut case. But then he starts to discover signs that this wasn’t an isolated incident, that multiple boys were taken over the years, and that there might still be danger in the present day.
His new independence gives Harris purpose and motivation, but without the police department behind him, and perhaps even against him, will he be able to close this case and prevent the past from becoming the present once again?
Striking a balance between the pros and cons of his job isn’t going to be easy, especially now that his reputation is growing. Harris has helped to solve a few more high-profile cases, and some people aren’t too happy about that. He thought that it would help get him more clients, and he’s getting noticed,
all right—by the wrong kind of people.
Plus, tensions are running high with the new chief of police, Richardson. Richardson’s got a bone or two to pick with Harris, and Harris just might find himself with a few grudges of his own against the chief.
As if his personal problems weren’t enough, Harris has another case to solve. Back in the 1970s, cults were the big thing, and there used to be one just a town over from Woodlawn. Almost all of the members died in a mass suicide, but Harris is thinking it might not have been suicide at all, but a vicious and cold-blooded murder.
Al Harris’s actions haven’t gone unnoticed. And not all that attention is good. There are some people starting to worry that the next cold case Harris solves will be one they’d rather stayed buried.
After being questioned by a couple of mysterious men, Harris comes back to find his office in ruins and Judy attacked—and all his case files stolen. Now he’s got a question on his hands: what is it about those cases that is so important? What is being covered up? And who is behind this attack?
The resulting investigation will take Harris away from the small towns he’s become accustomed to and back to the city of Chicago. The famous days of Al Capone and the Untouchables might be over, but the mafia still rules Chicago in its own way, and Harris is about to find out for himself just how alive and kicking they still are. Some of these powerful mob families go back decades,