A pair of chapters as gemlike as short stories kick off Chicago detective Abe Lieberman’s seventh case—if “case” is the best word for the latest chapter in Lieberman’s Joblike trials. Not that there isn’t cause for celebration. But his grandson Barry’s bar mitzvah threatens to bankrupt him; his partner Bill Hanrahan’s abrupt decision to marry his sweetie, waitress Iris Chen, without waiting the year his romantic rival, underworld warlord Laio Woo, had demanded has both partners looking over their shoulders for Asian-American headlights; and the board of Temple Mir Shavot, under Bess Lieberman’s presidency, is insisting he phone Sen. Joseph Lieberman (no relation) to invite him to a fundraiser. Before any of these celebrations, however, Lieberman (The Big Silence, 2000, etc.) will have to track down Michael Wychovski, a small-time thief whose own mistaken decision to celebrate the anniversary of a holdup last year by repeating the performance has landed him in a Chicago remake of Odd Man Out as he runs from cops and greedy accomplices alike. And he’ll have to figure out who killed Arnold Sokol—one of the teenaged kids who planned to rob him and vowed revenge when he sent one of them to the hospital, or Emiliano (El Perro) Del Sol, the gang leader he owed $40,000. Negotiations with Lieberman’s frequent contact El Perro promise to be tricky, but are they really trickier than calling his namesake in D.C.?
A lesser entry in Kaminsky’s finest series, with a starring role for the Chicago River, enjoying what may be its busiest fictional week ever.