Armand Cole kills a snitch. He is supposed to take him to Monticello’s infamous Pier 9, but a snowstorm forces him to leave the body on the freeway. A related murder at the pier is assigned to the MPD’s Special Investigations squad. For Jessica Branson, this means she gets to do something she hasn’t done in years: Real police work. But she must do so under the former Internal Affairs officer who sent her into exile.
Armand is soon the point man for the drug operation’s money man, a suave businessman named Rufus King. He is ordered to keep an eye on a stubborn dealer, an arrogant boy named Baggy, who has turned the city’s Holland Bay neighborhood into his own fiefdom. Branson finds her squad has been given a new mandate: Clean up Holland Bay. While Armand runs afoul of dealer Baggy, Branson is nearly killed in an explosion that also puts her erstwhile partner in the hospital.
Branson soon zeroes in on Ralph Smithers, the city’s drug lord. Armand tries to curry favor with Smithers, but soon becomes enmeshed in a tug of war for power between Smithers and King. In a sudden explosion of rage and betrayal, open conflict erupts over the course of an evening. Each man wants Armand to kill the other, while Branson leans hard on Smithers.
As Smithers’s grip frays, Branson, against orders, chases down leads, including a busted dealer, a drug lab operator ready to come in from the cold, and a woman brutalized by Smithers. Armand is soon in the middle of carnage the city has not seen since its Mafia days. As the night drags on, the fate of the city falls to Armand as he must decide which of his two overlords must die.
The two will end up at Pier 9 as rivalry comes to a head.
Praise for HOLLAND BAY:
“Jim Winter has written a novel that like a fine whiskey, just gets better and better with time.” —Ken Bruen, bestselling author of the Jack Taylor series
“Drug dealers, cops, departmental politics in a beaten-down city. Fans of The Wire will love Holland Bay.” —Dana King, two-time Shamus Award nominee and author of the Penns River crime series