A night on the town lands the Wild Onion, Ltd. partners in the middle of another case with oh- so-many moving parts.
Kirsten and Dugan’s last outing, Too Many Clients (2010), had, well, too many clients. Their latest doesn’t really have any. It’s clear that Isobel Cho needs help from the moment an inebriated Dugan accidentally rescues her from her bodyguard, Tyrone Beale, and returns her to her father, who promptly locks her up. But even after Juan Cho, owner of Wancho’s Towing, releases her, Isobel explains that she can’t pay for Wild Onion’s services. Neither can her boyfriend, Jamison Traynor, son of the junior Senator from Illinois. Beale isn’t their client either, even though he calls Dugan repeatedly asking to meet in a variety of parks and plazas for exchanges of confidential information. And Juan doesn’t stick around long enough to hire them, leaving abruptly to check things out at his factory in China. But when two creeps Dugan refers to as Toad and Weasel show up at Beale’s apartment, Kirsten is spooked enough to ask her old friend Cuffs Radovitch to babysit Isobel in an undisclosed location. Meantime, she noses around Hit the Rock, a foundation supplying water to remote villages in South America. Isobel was supposed to work for them until their director, Miguel Parillo, was killed in a D.C. shooting. But even if the Wild Onion duo manages to connect the dots, who’s going to pay the freight?
Another fine outing for Kirsten and Dugan, who set the standard for plotting, pace and hard-boiled humor.