It starts with a routine traffic stop. Moments later, a young man is killed by a rookie cop. Self-defense or murder? As San Francisco descends into riots and chaos, it’s up to Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez to prove that the cop is innocent. Or is he?
In the ninth installment of New York Times bestselling author Sheldon Siegel’s iconic San Francisco series, ex-spouses Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez have come a long way from their days as small-time defense attorneys. No longer working in a converted martial arts studio above a Chinese restaurant on the earthy side of Mission Street. Rosie is now San Francisco’s Public Defender, and Mike is the head of the Felony Division. Their daughter is in college. Their son is in middle school. For the first time in years, there is a semblance of order in their lives.
It doesn’t last long.
Johnny Bacigalupi is a rookie police officer and fourth-generation cop who graduated at the top of his class at St. Ignatius High, USF, and the Police Academy. His father is an assistant chief. He’s also Mike’s godson.
On a rainy night, Johnny and his partner pull over a Honda with a broken tail light. Juwon Jones has an outstanding probation violation. When asked to exit his car, Jones bangs the door into Johnny and flees. Johnny corners Jones in a nearby parking lot, where Jones raises his hands. Shots ring out and Jones is dead. Was it a rookie mistake? Self-defense?
A gun is found under the body—did it belong to Jones? Was it planted? No weapon is visible in footage from Johnny’s body cam or video taken by other officers. Yet Johnny and the other cops insist that Johnny acted in self-defense. The evidence suggests otherwise. Rioters are demanding justice. The D.A. charges Johnny with first-degree murder.
Meanwhile, San Francisco is besieged. Local TV, cable news, Twitter, and social media explode. Police supporters clash with Black Lives Matter. White supremacists come to San Francisco looking for trouble—and find it.
Mike and Rosie avoid the fray until Johnny’s family asks Mike to represent his godson. Despite Rosie’s reservations, Mike takes a leave of absence and represents Johnny, with help from his former-cop-turned-private-investigator brother, Pete.
Mike, Rosie, and Pete face their biggest challenge yet in a high-stakes case where San Francisco’s streets turn violent.
An intricate plot, likeable characters, powerful suspense, and a touch of humor are Sheldon Siegel’s hallmarks. In SERVE AND PROTECT, readers will discover once again why Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez have been called two of the most compelling and beloved characters in contemporary crime fiction.
SERVE AND PROTECT is the ninth book in the legal thriller series featuring Mike Daley & Rosie Fernandez.