This "outstanding" novel featuring a Boston detective searching for a judge's missing son is a Shamus Award finalist and the first in a series (The New York Times).
John Cuddy's heart is buried in a cemetery overlooking Boston harbor. His wife, Beth, fought her cancer for nearly a year, and when she died Cuddy gave up his morning runs in favor of nightly benders. Two months after her death, he is forced out of his job as an insurance investigator for refusing to sign his name to a phony claim. Now he is filing for unemployment, cutting back on his drinking, and attempting to become a private eye.
His first real case comes in the form of Valerie Jacobs, a junior high teacher who was friends with Beth. Her star pupil, the son of a Massachusetts judge, has vanished, and the local police have no leads. To make his name as a detective, Cuddy searches for a boy who's too smart to be found, and whose father would prefer his son never return.