After a one-book rest, C.W. Sughrue returns as misanthropic as ever.
Who does Sughrue like? Well, there’s his 12-year-old son Les, his wife Whitney, and his teammate Dr. William MacKinderick. In Missoula, softball amounts to a religion, and hard-hitting shortstop Mac attends the same church. On the night Sughrue’s latest descent into misadventure begins, he’s actually in good spirits. The Old Goats, his team, has won the state championship in the over-50 division when suddenly Mac chills the mood. He has a p.i. job for Sughrue. There’s been a break-in at the psychiatrist’s office, and seven confidential patient files are missing. If they’re not recovered, the potential for blackmail hovers like a hanging curve. Sughrue hesitates—after all, a previous investigation in Mac’s behalf was messy, involving bloodshed and a near-death experience for the investigator—until a $20,000 fee closes the deal. As it turns out, this gig turns into an equally booze-drenched, drug fueled, sex-propelled exercise, during which Sughrue gets to beat up and blow away diverse members of the species he views so dimly, and at whose end the reader will be hard pressed to unknot a cat’s cradle of plot lines.
Representative Crumley (The Final Country, 2002, etc.) for those who like their hard-boiled noir nice and sour.