San Francisco PI Dante Mancuso (The Big Boom, 2006, etc.) learns the hard way that some murders never get old.
Like Dante Mancuso, Bill Owens is a San Francisco private eye. As he explains over the phone, he’s in a serious jam. About to be charged with murder, he needs Dante to cast a protective eye over his two frightened kids. Though Owens is more colleague than friend, hard-shelled, mushy-hearted Dante agrees and is quickly carried back nearly 30 years, when the crime for which Owens is in the process of being cuffed was the stuff of major headlines. The Symbonise Liberation Army (think Patty Hearst) pulled off a bank robbery during which an innocent mother was gunned down. Eleanor Younger left her daughter to wait in the car, a vantage point that enabled the child to see and identify her mother’s killer. Or so she said, over and over. Now that her finger is pointed at Bill Owens, the U.S. government, for convoluted reasons of its own, is deeply interested. Hired by Owens supporters for reasons almost as convoluted, Dante finds himself a central figure in an investigation that does nothing but take unexpected turns, some of them achingly personal.
Predictably bleak—Stansberry has always walked on the noir side—but this brilliantly imagined version of real events packs an emotional wallop genre fiction rarely delivers.