Review: The Policeman’s Daughter by Trudy Nan Boyce

Title: The Policeman’s Daughter by Trudy Nan Boyce
Detective Sarah Alt Series Book Three
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Penguin’s First to Read Program


From author Trudy Nan Boyce, whose police procedural debut was hailed as “authentic” (NYTBR) and “exceptional” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel), returns with a stunning prequel to the Detective Salt series, the story behind the case that earned Salt her promotion to homicide.

At the beginning of her career, Sarah “Salt” Alt was a beat cop in Atlanta’s poorest, most violent housing project, The Homes. It is here that she meets the cast of misfits and criminals that will have a profound impact on her later cases: Man Man, the leader of the local gang on his way to better places; street dealer Lil D and his family; and Sister Connelly, old and observant, the matriarch of the neighborhood. A lone patrolwoman, Salt’s closest lifeline is her friend and colleague Pepper, on his own beat nearby. And when a murder in The Homes brings detectives to the scene, Salt draws closer to Detective Wills, initiating a romance complicated by their positions on the force.

When Salt is shot and sustains a head injury during a routine traffic stop, the resulting visions begin leading her toward answers in the case that makes her career. This is the tale of a woman who solves crimes through a combination of keen observation, grunt work, and pure gut instinct; this is the making of Detective Salt.


The Policeman’s Daughter by Trudy Nan Boyce is a gritty police procedural about a woman cop who patrols of one Atlanta’s poorest projects, the Homes.  This third installment in the Detective Sarah Alt series is a prequel that takes place before her promotion to detective and can be read as a standalone.

Sarah “Salt” Alt has been patrolling the Homes for ten years and she not only knows, but cares, about its residents. She and her friend and fellow officer, “Pepper” Greer, are well known and well liked by the people they encounter while on patrol. After getting shot during a routine traffic stop, Salt has recently returned to work when one of women on her beat, Shannell McCloud is murdered.  Homicide detectives Will and Gardner are assigned to Shannell’s murder but the case quickly goes cold. Salt wants justice for Shannell so she begins digging around in hopes of uncovering the killer.

Salt is the daughter of a cop who killed himself on her tenth birthday. She has never quite gotten over his death and since they were close, becoming a cop was a natural decision.  Despite patrolling the Homes for ten years, Salt has not become inured to the tragedies, poverty or criminals she encounters during her shifts. She truly cares for the Homes’ residents and for the most part, she has a good relationship with the various people she meets.

Salt is no stranger to Shannell, her boyfriend and her son’s father Big D and their son Lil D. She carries a bit of guilt over not being able help Lil D when he was a teenager so she has a soft spot for him. She watches out for him and she is well aware othat Lil D works for local gang leader Man Man who deals drugs.  Salt also keeps running across Curtis Stone, who works for Man Man too. However, unlike Lil D and Man Man, Stone is a predator who has no use for Salt.  Although she is wary of Stone, Salt is not intimidated by his thuggish tactics and she refuses to stop looking for the person who murdered Shannell.

Although a little slow paced in the beginning, The Policeman’s Daughter is a engrossing police procedural.  Salt is a compassionate police officer who becomes a little too personally involved with the residents of the Homes yet this is what makes her such an outstanding police officer. Pepper is a wonderful friend who  tries to be the voice of reason when she gets overly involved searching for Shannell’s killer. Trudy Nan Boyce does an outstanding job bringing the Homes and the people who live there vibrantly to life.  The investigation into Shannell’s murder is intriguing and the perpetrator’s identity is cleverly concealed until the novel’s poignant conclusion. A brilliant prequel to the Detective Sarah Alt series that fans of the genre will enjoy.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Detective Sarah Alt Series, GP Putmans Sons Books for Young Readers, Mystery, Rated B, Review, The Policemans Daughter, Trudy Nan Boyce

One Response to Review: The Policeman’s Daughter by Trudy Nan Boyce

  1. Timitra

    Thanks Kathy for the review