A beautiful young heiress hires suspended Chicago police detective Frankie Turk and his partner in love and sleuthing, Lola Lahti, to find her husband’s killer in this engaging murder mystery.
Lahti and Turk, who had been married to one another, are on disciplinary leave from the police force. As the only residents of Taylor Street, an unofficial safe house for Chicago detectives who are temporarily sidelined, they have plenty of privacy for amorous antics when they aren’t on the clock as private investigators. Turk’s newest client, Cin Ahmen, lost a limb when the bullet she fired in an attempt to save her husband ricocheted into her knee. And that was just the latest in a series of disastrous events since her teenage years in rural Maine. Self-preservation led her to seduce a wealthy Chicago judge who was fly-fishing in the woods near her home. He died, too, albeit of natural causes. Her second husband used some of Cin’s inheritance to open a swanky club called Club Red. Turk discovers that a Chinese national had been supplying the club with martini glasses whose stems contained something other than glass. It’s starting to look like Cin’s second husband might have run afoul of the Chinese mobster, who’s also providing upscale clubs with prostitutes from mainland China. But there are many more shadows in this story, largely because Cin hasn’t shared everything she knows with Turk and Lola. The tension intensifies when an unknown assailant brutally attacks Cin at her own club, sparking in Turk and Lola a fear that the next attack will be fatal. A revelation involving the true identity of the murdered husband lends poignancy to the investigation, and there are more surprises to come. Initially appearing to be some sort of femme fatale, Cin emerges as something else as the story unfolds. Since she’s ultimately a sympathetic character, and since Turk and Lola are quite likable themselves, the pursuit of Cin’s tormenter has a compelling resonance. The dialogue sometimes tilts to the saccharine but doesn’t unduly slow the progress to an unexpected, memorable conclusion.
A sharp murder mystery held together by likable characters.