Called out in the middle of an epic snowstorm by a client who did three years for killing his paramour’s husband, Hamptons attorney Jackie Swaitkowski (Bad Bird, 2010, etc.) finds every indication that he’s done it again.
Of course, Franklin Delano Raffini hasn’t punctured Donald Pritz’s heart once more with a skewer. Don’s been dead and buried, and his widow Eliz has been enjoying a $7.5 million insurance windfall, for even longer than Franco was in prison for killing him. No, the new corpse is Tad Buczek, the eccentric heir (is there any other kind in the Hamptons?) who infuriated his staid neighbors when he bulldozed his homestead to create Metal Madness, an attraction featuring misshapen hunks of metal. Franco’s already ticked off police detective Joe Sullivan by inexplicably dragging Tad’s corpse away from the place where he was killed, further degrading the world’s snowiest crime scene. The news that he was keeping company with Katarzina Buczek, the metal maven’s much younger mail-order bride, seems to be his one-way ticket back to stir. But Jackie, undaunted, takes her client’s arrest as no more than a challenge to poke around among Tad’s nearest and dearest, who just happen to be her late husband Pete’s relatives: Paulina Swaitkowski, Pete’s mother and Tad’s sister; Salina Lumsden, Pete’s aunt, the housekeeper of Tad’s crazy home; and Salina’s husband, Freddy, his handyman. With such nutty suspects to choose from, it’s a cinch that Jackie will crack the case as soon as she dodges the goons scrap-metal magnate Ivor Fleming has sent to dog her steps and Roger Angstrom, the New York Times crime reporter determined to write a story about her.
More disciplined than Jackie’s wild first two cases, though that’s not saying much. A treat for readers who enjoy the journey more than the destination.