When a man dies suspiciously, his shamus friend, the upright, downtrodden Jackson Donne, is bound by his code to find out why.
Gerry Figuroa gets fatally thumped by a car, and the driver takes off. It’s a hit and run, sure, but was Gerry a deliberate target? The odds are against it, thinks Donne, who’s occupied the barstool next to Gerry’s many a time. Innocuous, mundane, the quintessential everyman, Gerry just didn’t figure to rate that kind of attention. But as Donne’s inner Sam Spade kicks in, he begins to discover Gerry’s darker, more secretive side. Aces as a drinking buddy, he was, it seems, lousy as a husband and father. In addition, and maybe more to the point, he had a singular way of fattening a flat-lining bank account: drug-dealing. Could these activities have led to Gerry’s untimely demise? Of course they could. Meanwhile, Donne’s own troubled past is catching up to him. Detective Bill Martin had once been even closer to Donne than Donne was to Gerry. Now, however—in return for disservices both real and imagined—he’s become fixated on payback. And Donne’s ex-officio investigation suddenly provides Martin an opportunity as promising as it’s been long-awaited.
An iron commitment to private-eye formulas undoes Donne’s debut.