Robert Andrews is the author of three books set in Washington, DC. Frank Kearney and Jose Phelps have been partners for twenty years and are detectives in the homicide squad of the city with the highest murder rate in the United States.
Phelps and Kearney are police officers with good reputations. They are good men who work hard for the victims and they are well-respected in the District. They are willing to bend the rules if they think it will bring about a quicker “case closed”. For these reasons the leadership of the department assigns the star detectives to a case that has very little likelihood of being solved.
Father Robert O’Brien is killed late one night on Pennsylvania Avenue in what appears to be a random drive-by shooting. These anonymous crimes fall into the category of insoluble but Kearney and Phelps go beyond Father O’Brien’s public personna. He is well-known by the politicians of the district as an activist who doesn’t give up. Kearney and Phelps decide that this shooting wasn’t random especially when evidence is found suggesting that Father O’Brien was an embezzler.
In MURDER OF PROMISE, Mary Keegan is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist on the Washington Post. When she is found murdered in a Georgetown Park, the guardians of Washington want it solved immediately. The men who guide the city will not tolerate a murder in Georgetown of a nationally known writer to throw the people who matter into a state of fear.
This time Kearney and Phelps are assigned because they are the most likely pair of detectives to get the job done soonest. When they come across the details of a very similar crime, they suspect a serial killer may be involved. Worse, they discover that Mary Keegan was working on a book about fathers and sons in which the fathers have the power to stop the book.
One drug dealer is killed. The outcome would have been better if the other drug dealer had been killed too. Phelps and Kearney are again assigned to a high-profile case in A MURDER OF JUSTICE which will either enhance their reputations or end their careers.
Skeeter Hodges is responsible for destroyed lives; some of his victims are dead, some may wish they were. But, drug lord that he was, he is now a victim and his killer needs to be brought to justice as if he was the most honorable of men. Because nothing in Washington is straight-forward, the leaders of the city want as many open homicides as possible credited to Skeeter so that the homicide solve rate will become very impressive.
Things become much less simple when Phelps and Kearney find real ties from Skeeter’s death to the murder two years before of a government official with a connection to the CIA.
Much to my dismay, these are the only Kearney and Phelps books in the series. Every book is worth going back to more than once. Unlike some series, it isn’t necessary to read them in order of publication. Published in 2001, 2002, and 2004, they are likely to be found in most library systems.