Chicago homicide detectives Paul Turner (gay) and Buck Fenwick (straight) must sidestep interference from the mayor’s press secretary Vinnie Girote in their investigation into murder of Internet tycoon Craig Lenzati, hacked into a million pieces in his security-laden apartment. When Lenzati’s partner Brooks Werberg is killed and his place smashed into smithereens, Girote demands not only answers, but more importantly decorum and a low-profile solution. But the dot-com boys’ penchant for putting spunky little rivals into bankruptcy by stealing their ideas had won them a cityful of enemies. What could be juicier? How about a secret storehouse of theirs filled with names, addresses, and tapes of the boys’ sexual misconduct? In fact, Lenzati and Werberg had enjoyed an ongoing sexual-conquest game, their preferred prey heterosexual couples, including a pair who’d been suing them and another pair who’d been working for them. A freelance “cracker” (a computer whiz who breaks into and paralyzes systems) employed by the boys will die, and Paul will receive boxes of chocolates and scary e-mail from a serial killer targeting police detectives all along Interstate 90, before Chicago finally settles down and Paul can reassure his son Brian of his safety and fall into the arms of his lover Ben.
Brittle but funny dialogue between Paul and Buck; tender moments between Paul and Brian; sentimental relationship claptrap between Paul and Ben. This sixth in the series, following Drop Dead (1999), lacks the authenticity of the author’s Tom & Scott adventures.