How do you find someone who’s not supposed to exist? That’s the detective’s conundrum.
Francis X Loughlin is losing his sight. He's a cop, and because of the genetically acquired retinitis pigmentosa his future on the force looks bleak. He's always been a loner so this means ever increasing isolation.
Two decades before, Francis had been instrumental in the incarceration of Julian Vega for the murder of a woman. Julian has been released following years of legal appeals he orchestrated, and soon thereafter a similar murder is committed. Now, however, the police have access to DNA technology and some very strange links and relationships lead Loughlin to surmise that Julian may have been innocent.
Blauner does a nice job of balancing the assorted POVs. We see Julian struggling to overcome the hostility of just about everyone, each assuming he's guilty and got off on a "technicality." He's somewhat baffled by societal changes having been isolated for more than a decade. The family of the dead girl still feels they haven't received justice, and Francis battles his own feelings about the case as well as the political powers who have everything to gain by hiding what may be the truth. You feel for all of the characters.
Great title with multiple meanings.