Jacob Asch's first client since 1989 (Other People's Money) is Mark Jacobi, a salesman who wants Asch to check up on his wife--except that he isn't and he doesn't. He's really William Graves--a small-time burglar whose past, together with that of his hooker-roommate-partner Lexine Woods--is disturbingly mixed up with that of Hollywood Homicide Detective Art Carlson, newly widowed by suicide. Why did Graves want to get into Asch's office so badly on such short notice? What did he know about Mrs. Carlson's death? And will Asch end up in the sleek arms of Carlson's partner Detective Leslie Boetticher, a leggy female Rambo, or go back to KNXT reporter Jan O'Connor, who couples in sound bites? Though it's obvious from early on whodunit, Asch's narrative keeps the momentum so smooth and nasty that you'll be sorry to see it wind down. Welcome back, Jake.