A detective duo returns to the streets of San Francisco for a second case in this thriller, the first installment of a series.
Rural Alaskan investigator Qiqiq, on loan to the San Francisco Police Department, is still partnered with the sexy-but-tough Kandy Dreeson when the duo is called in for an unusual probe for homicide detectives. That morning, an elderly Chinese woman was struck by a motorcycle while crossing the road. Though the woman is alive, one witness reports this was no accident: the victim was being targeted. While in the early stages of that investigation, the two are also tasked with tracking a missing lawyer. Between the two cases, Dreeson can’t help but grumble that, as homicide detectives, “there should be a body.” Meanwhile, on the other side of California at Lake Tahoe, a fortuitous coincidence brings together a street photographer named Joe Roberts and a beautiful Asian woman whom he happened to shoot months before in Michigan. Trying to play the good guy and find out more about this mysterious and irresistible figure—her name is Mylin, and she plays the viola in an all-Asian, all-female touring orchestra—pulls Joe into a spider web of secrets, sex, blackmail, and murder. Joe may be in over his head, but he’s not the only one entangled; between a motorcycle club involved with more than just classic bikes and a body count that teaches Dreeson to be careful what she wishes for, the two detectives have their work cut out for them if they want to catch the people triggering these events without getting burned in the process. Even though Klingler (Missing Mona, 2015, etc.) injects a few more hard-to-believe coincidences and auspicious events into his narrative, which allow certain aspects to wrap up more neatly than they should, he definitely knows how to tell an entertaining tale. Action-packed and thoroughly enjoyable, the book delivers two distinctive protagonists (“The visiting gumshoe whose Alaskan name no one can pronounce” and his attractive partner with “nearly six feet of gazelle-muscle” who prefers to wear “athletic clothes that didn’t hinder movement in an altercation”). Once again the author succeeds in spinning his story so well that readers can’t help but keep turning the pages to see its spectacular climax. Let’s hope book two arrives soon.
A captivating murder tale that kick-starts the beach reading season.