The action in this bracing procedural begins when Washington D.C., police detective Alex Blum, is rummaging around a murdered man’s room and comes across a startling photo: the victim buddying up with a man who, years ago, was Alex’s major drug-world snitch. Intuiting that this connection may be the key to solving the murder, he gets to work, becoming involved with the snitch’s girlfriend along the way. Swinson (City on the Edge, 2021), himself a retired police detective, is known for his dialogue, but here he takes it to the next level with an incredible protracted scene in which a wired-up young female cop goes undercover in a strip joint. Rather than narrating the action from her perspective, it’s all told from the viewpoint of the sweaty and anxious cops sitting in a squad car parked outside, listening to the audio as tensions mount. Readers won’t be able to get enough of this.