As a detective on the mean streets of Detroit, Amos Walker has to make friends in low places. It’s part of the job. So when the incredibly successful madam Beryl Garnet needs somebody to fulfill her last dying wish, she turns to Walker. She hasn’t seen her son in a long, long time, and wants him to have her ashes when she’s gone just to let him know she hasn’t forgotten about him. Walker obliges her.
Walker finds Garnet’s son, Delwayne, a Vietnam War protestor who has been living in Canada since the 1960s, and hands over his mother’s ashes. When Walker returns to Detroit, he is surprised to learn that Delwayne is dead and he, Walker, is the prime suspect.
To clear his name, Walker must find the murderer. In the process he discovers another murder, of a prizefighter from the 1940s…Curtis Smallwood, Delwayne’s father. Walker knows he has his work cut out for him when he discovers that the two murders, fifty-three years apart, were committed with the very same gun. And even more puzzling, at the time of Delwayne’s murder, the gun was in the limbo of airport security, inaccessible, to say the least.