When a murder mystery is set in Washington, D.C., readers expect a good dose of politics, hallowed halls and monuments. That is not the case with Murder, D.C. by Neely Tucker, the second book in a series featuring crime reporter Sully Carter. Carter is a modern hero, emotionally and physically scarred from his Bosnian reporting days. He's a flawed individual who nonetheless retains his integrity when pursuing the truth of a story.
Now a stateside reporter, Carter needs a riveting story to help his lackluster career so he can return to overseas reporting. When young scholar Billy Ellison, the last member of the most powerful black family in Washington, is found dead in a drug-infested, no-man’s-land sliver of D.C. called Frenchman’s Bend, Carter writes an article about “the murder capital’s murder capital,” which creates a storm of controversy. Carter’s job is to investigate what an upper-middle-class young man was doing in the Bend in the middle of the night, but events in the story create multiple avenues to pursue. However, there are forces from the highest and lowest levels of society that actively thwart Carter’s probing scrutiny. Showing the same grit, determination and fearlessness that made him an outstanding war correspondent, Carter refuses to accept the existing state of affairs and pursues the twisted threads of Frenchman’s Bend to their untangling.
Murder, D.C. tackles issues of race, poverty and the unsavory slave history of the nation’s capital. The fictional Frenchman’s Bend was a slave holding pen for about 100 years, and the gruesome portrayal of the Bend’s history is recounted realistically due to Tucker’s historical research.