A wealthy Manhattan private eye who solves crimes by reading the stars juggles two very different cases.
Dr. Edgar Williamson begs millionaire detective/astrologer David Lowell to help his 15-year-old son, Edward. The boy is dying of kidney failure, and Williamson insists that due to his rare blood type, Edward’s missing twin brother, Kevin, is the only plausible donor. Williamson offers Lowell a suitcase stuffed with $1 million to find Kevin and his mother, Gloria Greenwald, who went underground with Kevin when she separated from Williamson. Though Lowell doesn’t need the money, he does want to help save the boy’s life, especially after a reading of the twins’ charts confirms that the 14-minute difference between their birth times means good health for Kevin and kidney issues for Edward. While Lowell and Mort Simpson, his psychic computer-hacker assistant, are trying to find Kevin and Gloria, Lowell takes on the case of pension funds embezzled from the Happy Snappy Marshmallow Company. But it’s Gloria and her two sons who really engage him, especially once he hears Gloria’s version of her marriage to Williamson. The more Lowell learns about the doctor and his patents on unusual human genomes, the more suspicious the whole case becomes, especially when an LAPD officer arrives in New York with her own grievances against Williamson. Attempts on Lowell’s life leave him shaken and baffled about whether the would-be killer is working for Williamson or the marshmallow company. He does know, however, that a thumb drive and an astrological subterfuge have driven the stakes even higher.
Lewis’ ponytailed New-Age PI (Death in the 12th House, 2012, etc.) is a benign presence on the roster of fictional crime busters. But a far-fetched plot and pedestrian style keep his third adventure earthbound.