By day, she's a tough-minded prosecutor in Raythune County, West Virginia, a region scarred by poverty and prescription drug abuse. By night, Bell Elkins takes on a softer role. She volunteers at an auxiliary intensive care unit where nurses deal with the youngest and most vulnerable victims of drug abuse: the children born to mothers addicted to painkillers. The place is known as Evening Street, and it is here Bell comes whenever she can spare the time. She rocks ailing infants to sleep, and she provides what medical science-for all of its marvels-cannot: A simple human touch. One terrifying night, the distraught father of an Evening Street baby breaks into the facility. Gun in hand, he holds the staff hostage and demands a reckoning for a family grudge-with helpless infants only inches away. And so begins a standoff at Evening Street. Bell Elkins is swept up into the crisis, as the drama escalates toward a lethal flashpoint. At the center of it all is a baby, only hours old, but already ancient in his knowledge of pain.
by Julia Keller
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