Sharon McCone’s latest case resurrects a miscreant long thought dead with plenty of mischief left in him.
McCone and Hy Ripinsky, her husband and partner, think their biggest problem on moving into their brand-new office building is the hideous sculpture noted Latino artist Flavio St. John stuck over the entryway. They’re disillusioned by the apparition of Gage Renshaw, a creep who once joined Ripinsky in private flights delivering dubious people and goods to shady locations in Southeast Asia. Against all odds, Renshaw is still alive and as creepy as ever. He makes no secret of the fact that he’s dropped in at McCone and Ripinsky’s new office to torment them but refuses to say what he knows or wants or plans to get the revenge he thinks he’s due. While she’s waiting to find out, McCone takes a case for an apparently unrelated client: omnivorous merchant Chad Kenyon, whose latest purchase—a decrepit house on Webster Street, in San Francisco’s Western Addition—seems a lot less canny when he learns that it’s infested with lowlifes who aren’t paying rent or following several other laws. McCone, who’ll eventually remind her partner that “elder statesperson isn’t what either of us is cut out to be,” goes to check out the building and gets shoved down a flight of stairs. But it isn’t until the place burns to the ground that she begins to suspect that her two cases may not be that unrelated after all.
Fans can expect the workmanlike, uninspired plotting typical of the franchise (The Night Searchers, 2014, etc.), with lots of room for the heroine’s and hero’s ubiquitous friends and contacts and a particularly neat solution to the opening problem.