Sleuthing music reporter Mick Sever (Jamaica Blue, 2002) tackles the case of the congressman who was born again too late to avoid a violent death.
Forget dysfunctional: The family Florida Rep. Robert Shapply, who was shot as he tried to expiate his shady past by attacking the music industry that once fed his worst excesses, is just plain screwed up. His wife Alicia, the Ice Maiden, takes advantage of Mick’s journalistic interest in his murder to get him to carry a message to her son, Nick Brand, who once joined Shapply to fleece Mick of $1.5 million, and now languishes in jail on suspicion of hiring rapper Chilli D to whack him. Nick’s half-sister Amber hasn’t spoken to her father for years. And Amber’s teenaged daughter, Margarite Haller, recoils from Amber’s low-rent lover Josh in ways that eerily recall her namesake, Amber’s best friend, who was raped and murdered 20 years ago in Barbados at the tender age of 13. The cops are satisfied they’ve got the perps behind bars, but Mick, who’s riding with Shapply’s chauffeur when he gets gunned down like his boss, is anything but. He’s convinced that only a trip to Barbados will clear up the mystery, and if it doesn’t, well, there are still the sunshine and the music.
Most of the dialogue reveals mainly that Mick thinks he’s God’s greatest gift, but the puzzle makes more sense than in Mick’s sultry debut.