Nina Karim became a police officer to catch a killer, and not just any killer, but the one who gunned down her father and destroyed her family. One night, Dr. Martin Karim was standing at the kitchen window washing the dinner dishes when a shot rang out. The bullet hit him in the head and killed him instantly. Nina’s younger brother, Sammy, witnessed the murder and was never the same. Her mother died of a broken heart.
The police were pretty sure that Dr. Karim, who worked at a Planned Parenthood clinic, was targeted by an anti-abortion activist. Ernie Saldana, retired from the LAPD, tells Nina the best way to find the assailant is to become a police officer thereby being able to tap into the resources routinely used by law enforcement. Nina decides to forgo her plans for a PhD in English literature and instead graduates from the John Jay College for Criminal Justice, the police academy, and joins the Long Island Police Department.
Not everyone understands Nina’s obsession with revenge. But Bobby Booth, who washes out of the academy, does. Telling Nina he could be either a cop or a crook, but not a crooked cop, he becomes a loan shark. They become lovers.
Nina may have an ulterior motive for joining the police force, but she takes her day job seriously. After a former Long Island police officer suspected of abusing his wife turns up dead, Nina begins to dig deeper. She discovers a string of wife abusers found murdered, the cases unsolved. Several of the women stayed at a shelter called Artemis, named after the Greek goddess. Nina receives permission to investigate. When Bobby refuses to beat her up so she can convince those at Artemis she is being abused, she provokes a female officer into a fight. She shows up at the shelter looking very much like a battered spouse.
Once inside Artemis, Nina, going by the name of Lucy, gets to know the other women and their children. And she begins to understand the obstacles they face trying to escape their abusers. Right and wrong no longer seem so clear cut.
Meanwhile, helped by Ernie, she makes progress tracking down the sniper that killed her father. On that front, too, she’s in for some surprises.
Nina is a complex character, a cop with an agenda for revenge who has no qualms about operating outside the law. Michael Elias’ You Can Go Home Now is an absorbing read.
You Can Go Home Now
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