Jackson continues his quest to enlarge the darkly comic circle of Detroit crime to epic proportions.
When Cora Mulheisen, outside a suburban courthouse to protest another environmental outrage, is nearly killed by a bomb, her son, Det. Sgt. Fang Mulheisen, retires from the force to care for her and wait for the day she regains her will to speak. Even when Lt. Col. Vernon Tucker, that government-paid soldier of fortune (Badger Games, 2002), asks him to help with the new Homeland Security Task Force he’s heading, Joe’s not interested in avenging Cora. Off in Montana, Mulheisen’s sometime quarry, mob handyman Joe Service, plans to lead an equally placid retirement in the home he and his lover Helen Sedlacek are building. But both men are jolted out of their tranquility, Mulheisen by his mother’s returned speech, which will threaten her life if she ever remembers what she saw outside that courthouse, and Joe by the news that a drug informant he tried to kill is looking for him. So both men abandon the women they love and light out for the premises of Martin Parvis Luck, the home-grown terrorist suspected as the brains behind the bombing and much more ambitious goals besides.
The highlight in this installment of the Mulheisen/Service saga is a razor-sharp series of conversations between nominal enemies and even more nominal allies that recast domestic and international terrorism as a ludicrously inflated game of Who’s on First.