The Bottom 

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Richmond is in a panic. For the fourth time in eighteen months, a young girl or woman has been brutalized and murdered. This time, the body of a fourteen-year-old is found in Richmond's Shockoe Bottom train station. On her ankle is the same perversely cartoonish tattoo that has led the cops and newspapers to dub the perpetrator the Tweety Bird killer. When Willie Black finds out that the night security guy at the station was lured away from his post by a phone call from Willie's daughter just before the body was dumped, the story gets weirder and a lot more personal. At the same time, Willie's paper is facing a lawsuit from a developer who wants to make a killing of another kind - turning part of The Bottom into top of The Bottom, a mix of big-box stores and apartments. It's an area where slaves were buried in unmarked graves, many of them still not discovered. The Bottom is emblematic of what Willie thinks of as the permanent stain Richmond can never wash away, but now he and the paper are under pressure to "lay off" Wat Chenault and his plans to turn the land into a real estate bonanza.

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