By Margaret Murray
In this restorative justice mystery, Claire Cassidy is a police detective in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, who’s beginning to think she’s wasted the last twelve years of her life. She’s tired of watching kids go from juvenile centers to jails, from minor scrapes with the law to full-time careers in crime. And her latest cases aren’t helping. A career burglar she let off with a warning on her very first night as a rookie years before has killed an old woman. And three teenage girls have robbed a convenience store and beat the owner into a coma. Claire feels she’s made no difference in making her city a safer place and wonders if she should turn in her badge. In her search for the three girls, Claire meets Daniel Pierce, a vice principal at a local high school. Frustrated by an education system that throws kids out onto the street at the first sign of trouble, Pierce claims he knows a better way. Claire thinks Pierce is naïve but she needs his help so she decides to put up with him just long enough to find her suspects. But as they work together in what may be her last case, Claire begins to see that Pierce’s methods may have merit both in her work as a cop and in helping her confront personal trauma from her past.
“A compelling story with all the critical elements of a good mystery — great characters, well-paced action, interesting setting and dramatic plot — with the added bonus of a fascinating look at how restorative justice can help schools and communities deal with conflict and crime. Margaret Murray pulls it all together in a way that will delight her readers.”
— Ted Wachtel, Founder, International Institute for Restorative Practices