San Francisco private eye Dante Mancuso haunts his beloved North Beach while ghosts from his past haunt him.
Dante, a man with a checkered history, is back in North Beach, his home town. Except that it doesn’t feel much like a hometown. A sour economy has transformed its sturdy old neighborhoods into withered old neighborhoods. More to the point, Dante has become a person of interest to dangerous people with long memories. Years ago, when he left, or was pushed from, the SFPD, he signed on with a sinister security organization known as “the company” that proved to be every bit as fraught as the Company operating out of Langley. Nor, as events proved, was lowercase c any more forgiving than capital C if a disaffected agent attempted to slip out the door with a stolen journal. For reasons that are never made clear, the purloined journal is precious—a fact well known to Dante, who lifted it, thinking it might someday serve as a badly needed bargaining chip. Now, suddenly, the company wants its property returned. As Dante soon discovers, what the company wants the company means to get even if it takes killing everything Dante has ever loved.
As usual, Stansberry (The Ancient Rain, 2008, etc.) speaks pitch-perfect noir, undermined this time by an often incoherent plot.