Bestselling author William Wood spins this dark, riveting tale of a beloved Sacramento cop killed in a bizarre accident, and the hunt to track down his killer--a fast-paced thriller of murder, deceit, haunting pasts, and one man's dangerous scheme to fight for those he loves.
Officer Tommy Ensor did not see the car that struck him down on a rainy night in California's capital.
Ensor is no ordinary cop. He's a hero, winner of the Medal of Valor, devoted family man and coach, helping at-risk kids. But the driver who struck him down and didn't stop isn't ordinary either. He's Judge Frank Stevenson, up-and-coming member of the bench, also devoted to his wife and daughter, involved in charities and good works. In a split second he did something completely uncharacteristic that irrevocably changes his life and the lives of everyone close to him.
Terry Nye is a couple of weeks from retirement as a detective, head of Major Crimes. He's trying to pack thirty years of bloody experiences and hard lessons into those two weeks for his new partner, Rose Tafoya. Rose is a young detective, smart, more than a little ambitious, but also insecure. Together she and Nye are a powerhouse team. He's determined to find Ensor's assailant and he's going to make sure Rose doesn't make the same mistakes he did, especially the unforgivable one that has come back to darkly haunt him after Ensor's accident.
The city is in turmoil when Ensor dies and the hunt for a cop killer rushes ahead relentlessly, moving from Nye and Tafoya to Stevenson and his wife. The guilty and innocent are sucked randomly into the intense, high-powered investigation. Nye and Rose face death in a shoot-out; a politician's sad, dirty secret is exposed; and ambitions threaten to destroy the investigation.
The hunters and the hunted know the stakes are life and death.
Frank Stevenson knows he's being hunted. Stevenson is both stunned because he didn't stop that rainy night and steeled to do whatever he has to do to avoid the hunters. Even if it means committing more crimes. He's not just protecting himself. He's fighting for those he loves.
Stevenson comes up with a brilliant scheme to throw Nye and Tafoya off the track. But even if it works, Stevenson is tormented wondering how he can sit in judgment on others now.
A final hard moment of reckoning arrives for the hunters and the hunted. Everyone will realize that their lives will change in the blink of an eye.
Wood's engaging investigative thriller starts off with a bang, as beloved Sacramento police officer and local hero Tommy Ensor is killed in a late-night hit-and-run in front of the California state capitol building. The driver is charitable and good-natured Judge Frank Stevenson, who happens to be preparing for a meteoric rise through the ranks of California's justice system at the time of the accident. With so much to lose, Stevenson exhausts every available option at his disposal in an attempt to cover his tracks, but detectives Terry Nye and Rose Tafoya--along with the rest of the city's police department--are determined to track down the assailant. Meanwhile, assistant chiefs of police Jerry Nishimoto and Lou Altlander vie for the soon-to-be-vacated spot at the head of the department, threatening to turn the investigation into a political charade. Wood (Stay of Execution) is a must-read for those who love a classic, hard-boiled detective novel. (Feb.)
"A character-driven novel that makes you stop and think about things most people take for granted. When everyone is the good guy, who do we root for, and are we all capable of being the bad guy? I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes thought-provoking books." --Madderly Review
"No one writes a better police procedural than Bill Wood, and Sudden Impact is his best one to date--lucid prose, meticulous legal detail, and unforgettable characters struggling in various moral quandaries. Terrific, unputdownable stuff." --John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of The Thirteenth Juror and The Hunt Club
"William Wood is a master of suspense. Sudden Impact is Wood at the peak of his powers, tense and eloquent, with characters and a story of political intrigue and riveting tragedy." --Steve Martini, New York Times bestselling author
"Wood clearly knows the inner workings of the judicial system." --Publishers Weekly
"A feeling of truth permeates this book . . . one of the better courtroom dramas of recent years." --New York Times, for Rampage
"The story never cools down and never plays tricks." --Kirkus Reviews
"The nonstop action and relentless pace will satisfy fans of the hard-boiled thriller genre." --Publishers Weekly, for Gangland
"A spellbinding tale about the men and women who dispence justice from the bench." --Associated Press, for Broken Trust
"William P. Wood . . . knows the intricacies and ironies of the legal system. He also knows how to employ them to weave a compelling story." --San Diego Union, for Stay of Execution