Lt. Eve Dallas’ 48th futuristic investigation takes her from a stratospherically upscale housewarming for her friend Nadine Furst, the journalist/screenwriter who won an Oscar for fictionalizing Eve’s own adventures, to the mean—really mean—streets of New York.
The good news for Rochelle Pickering, the child psychologist who’s one of many guests at the party, is that Eve’s wealthy husband, Roarke, who owns the building in which Nadine makes her splashy new home, has decided to hire her as head therapist at An Didean, the youth facility he’s funding and building. The bad news is that shortly after Rochelle shares her joy with her brother, Lyle, an ex-con and ex-gangbanger who’s turned his life around, he dies of a drug overdose in the apartment she’s opened to him. Since Lyle was in good physical shape with no indication that he’d recently been using, all signs point to murder clumsily disguised as an accident—presumably by Dinnie Duff, the former girlfriend who visited Lyle minutes before he died and let three male friends into the apartment. Unlike Lyle, Dinnie’s maintained her ties to the Bangers gang, and it’s among their membership that Eve (Leverage in Death, 2018, etc.) and her partner, Detective Peabody, go looking for suspects. They find a bumper crop: top Banger Marcus Jones Jr., aka Slice; his business partner, disbarred attorney Samuel Cohen; Cohen’s live-in, Bump & Bang dancer Eldena Vinn; Dinnie’s current lover, Kenneth "Bolt" Jorgenson; and virtually everyone else they talk to. And eventually they find Dinnie, who’s been raped and murdered in a much more emphatic way than Lyle. What they don’t find is a story any more coherent than a series of interrogations in which small fry flip on bigger fry, punctuated by the occasional shoot’em-up.
On the plus side, every one of those interrogations offers another outlet for the heroine’s unique combination of street smarts, moral outrage, and curled-lip scorn.