An ex-cop's habits die hard.... Savvy, streetwise former cop Mali Anderson left the NYPD with a lawsuit and a lot of bitterness. Now she's on her way to a master's in sociology, living with her jazz musician father and mothering her orphaned nephew, Alvin. As Mali walks past the stylish town houses of Harlem's Strivers Row to meet Alvin at his rehearsal with the Uptown Children's Chorus, she hears a child's panicked screams--and witnesses a struggle. Mali thwarts the child's abduction, but as the car roars away, she finds a body in the street. The dead man is her friend Erskin Harding, tour director of the Chorus.The memory of her friend and the peril of her nephew drive Mali to track down the killer. It's a search that will take her from a gossip-filled beauty parlor to a dark, decaying crack house and--as anonymous warnings escalate into violence--could even lead her to her grave.From the Paperback edition.