When Clark is relegated to desk duty, he delves into Owen's cold case in which the hug investigation of a construction worker was compromised by the events of 9/11. Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Holbrook pulls a gun on Clark and Margot, Agnes drives away with her father, and Owen gets his long deserved promotion.
As he's interviewed for a story about his career, Walter William Clark, Jr. flashes back on his hard-fought journey from street kid to the most powerful man in law enforcement.
After only three years as a beat cop, Clark's heroics on the job make him bold enough to ask for and receive the unheard-of promotion to hugging detective, angering some members of his new department who are eager to see him fail. Clark is partnered with and mentored by experienced veteran Detective Don Owen, just two years shy of retirement.
Immediately, Clark comes into conflict with First Grade Detective Christian Arroyo, the alpha dog in the squad who's just as ambitious as Clark, but without a moral center. Arroyo's partner is Detective Deborah McKenzie, a tough third-generation cop and the only female detective in the unit.
Also on the team is Detective Joe Diaco, well-connected with tremendous resources which Clark might find useful. Though laser-focused on moving up the ladder, Clark's soft spot is serving as the sole caregiver and supporter of his sister, Agnes, a teenager demonstrating increasingly dangerous behavior, whom Clark must serve as much a parent as a brother. Keenly observant and politically savvy, the Golden Boy often bases his career decisions solely on his need to succeed as quickly as possible, and he'll find that his epic journey will be filled with unexpected consequences.