“Roving troubleshooter” Rushmore McKenzie agrees to look into a case of industrial sabotage and ends up shooting a lot more trouble than he expected.
McKenzie’s poker buddy Ian Gotz, an accountant, may be better at keeping books than at filling inside straights, but even he knows something’s gone seriously wrong for Erin Peterson, the friend he wishes were much more. The founder of Salsa Girl Salsa has evidently been riding too high for the taste of whomever's squirted superglue into the locks in her latest manufacturing plant. A prank, she tells McKenzie when he drops by to ask how she is and she realizes that her aspiring lover has given him the news she shared in confidence. But McKenzie (What the Dead Leave Behind, 2017, etc.) brushes that explanation away: The plant is in the middle of nowhere, and there’s zero chance that teenage kids would have taken that much trouble to mess with someone they didn’t know and couldn’t watch. Soon enough McKenzie’s suspicions of some darker motive are confirmed when someone superglues the door locks on a delivery truck that has to get the refrigerated salsa to Minnesota stores before it warms up and spoils. Since Erin has never had time for a boyfriend, let alone an ex-lover with a grudge, McKenzie focuses on the obscenely rich Bignell family, whose wastrel scion, Randy Bignell-Sax, loaned Erin the money she needed to launch Salsa Girl, and whose family-held company, Minnesota Foods, distributes her six flavors. Although a bombing at the plant jolts McKenzie, it’ll take several more nudges before he realizes that Salsa Girl has been built on a foundation that’s been rotten from the beginning and that bigger threats are on the way.
A fast-moving, dialogue-driven tale so effortlessly and irresistibly spun that you may well finish it before you notice that nobody has died, except for a couple of faceless gangbangers executed offstage, and that the elaborately choreographed denouement doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.