Amos Walker, Detroit’s premier missing persons specialist, finds virtually everything but the person he’s been hired to look for.
This isn’t the first time Cecelia Wynn’s run out on her investment banker husband, Alec. Last time, though, she left a trail even Hansel and Gretel could have followed. It led to Lloyd Debner, an apprentice at her husband’s firm, and it ended when Alec persuaded her to come back home and fired Debner, who was eagerly snatched up by another firm. Now Cecelia’s been a little more emphatic, leaving behind a note saying simply, “Don’t look for me.” So Alec hires Walker to do the looking. In accord with Cecelia’s note, she hasn’t made herself easy to find. The only leads are Ann Foster, the housekeeper Cecelia abruptly fired five weeks ago, and Elysian Fields, the drug company that sold the herbal supplements she dosed herself with religiously. Walker doesn’t find Cecelia at either Elysian Fields or with Ann Foster, but as he continues his investigation, he does find a murdered pot-grower, a come-hither clerk named Smoke, an international drug trafficking operation and Walker’s old nemesis, Charlotte Sing, who is wanted in every country that has a police force. Estleman (Burning Midnight, 2012, etc.) piles on the complications so generously—a highlight is marijuana growing used as a cover for more serious drugs—that every reader without a GPS will get lost long before Walker reports back to his client in a shivery final scene. The author supplies the customary pleasures of Walker’s snappy dialogue and cold-eyed view of his hometown, but neither Walker’s current case nor the case he stumbles into reaches a satisfying conclusion, and the return of his female Fu Manchu is more tiresome than menacing.
Below average for this exemplary series.