In the gripping sequel to Rizzo’s War (2009), maverick Detective Sergeant Joe Rizzo investigates the murder of a man too unimportant to murder.
Robert Lauria was the ultimate loner. In a bare-bones apartment he’d lived a nondescript life, seldom venturing out, never having visitors. When he was found dead after 13 days, his landlady delivered a predictable epitaph: “Always paid his rent early, in cash.” Too bad some fix-hungry junkie had happened to select the apartment of poor, sad “Mr. Cellophane,” noticed for once and strangled because of it. At least that’s the quite sensible view of the first responders, the uniforms who answered the 911 call—but not Joe, the thorn in his bosses’ side, the Talleyrand of police-department politics, the cool game-changer with the pragmatist’s mantra: “There is no right. There is no wrong. There just is.” Savvy Joe spots the gold wristwatch on the victim’s nightstand. It hasn’t been heisted, he points out to Detective Priscilla Jackson, the new partner who’s almost as smart as he is. They agree that it may have been a rush to judgment to call this an opportunistic break-in. So begins the strange and gnarly process—part deductive brilliance, mostly hardscrabble police work—that eventually ties the man of no importance to a Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright, also murdered.
Bar none, Joe Rizzo is the most authentic cop in contemporary crime fiction.