The cop tumbled from his bar stool and landed on the floor as blood spilled out from his gut. He tried to level his gun to shoot, but the gunman never gave him a chance. Standing over Jon Harris like an executioner, he pulled the trigger once again. Then he walked out as people ran and screamed in the chaos and fear that followed.
Whenever Tim thought back to that moment, he remembered three things: The barmaid staring into his eyes; the cop’s money falling onto the floor; and the feeling that he might have hit the jackpot after all.
As everyone panicked and ran for the door, Tim scurried to the dying cop’s side. Quickly, he scooped up the bills and left the bar. Fifteen minutes later, he was nodding in a filthy back alley, with a needle in his arm and a fist full of bloody twenties. The cops that found him kept asking where he’d got the money. Tim didn’t answer and they beat him unconscious. When he woke up, he was in prison.
That was all Tim could recall about that night, so that’s what he told his lawyer when she asked him about it. He liked his lawyer. Her name was Andrea Wilson. She was beautiful and smart, she knew more about K and A than he gave her credit for, and she’d agreed to represent him for free.
But Tim didn’t tell Andrea everything. He didn’t think he needed to. She should’ve seen that his eyes were lifeless. She should have known he didn’t care about his defense. She should’ve sensed that something was wrong.
Even Tim Green, in his drug-addled state, understood hopelessness when he saw it. He knew that Officer Harris’s murder was the start of a journey through hell. His lawyer would soon know it, too.
In the first excerpt of Chapter One of Jones' eighth novel, a former figure in Detective Mike Coletti's past makes some interesting moves—in and out of the courtroom.
Newshounds-turned-novelists Solomon Jones and Karen Quinones Miller encompass the light and darkness of life in the city. Days before their joint book-signing and reading at the Free Library on Nov. 1, Miller and Jones sat down to talk to each other about their lives, their books and the amazing journeys that shaped two of Philadelphia’s most distinctive storytelling voices.
In Memoriam: Amiri Baraka