Winner of the 1993 PWA/St. Martin's Press Best First Private Eye Novel contest, The Heaven Stone introduces a fresh voice in author David Daniel and a likable new protagonist in Alex Rasmussen, ex-cop turned private investigator, who is drawn into the world Lowell, Massachusetts's, Cambodian refugee community.
The only member of his family to escape the killing fields of Cambodia, Bhuntan Tran wound up in the decaying factory town of Lowell. Working two menial jobs (although he held a Ph.D), Tran was well on his way to achieving the American dream when he was shot, execution-style, in his own home.
The police are convinced the killing was drug-related and aren't too concerned with a solution. An attractive Chinese-American social worker refuses to accept so easy an answer and commissions Rasmussen to dig out the real story.
Against the background of an industrial town where new immigrants are clashing with the long-settled Yankee population, Rasmussen's investigation opens up not only dark links to the victim's past but old wounds of the detective's own.