First-novelist Lordon introduces N.Y.C.'s Sydney Sloane, a lesbian p.i. whose black-sheep brother David supposedly died 15 years ago, but who looks remarkably like the newspaper photograph of escaped double-homicide perpetrator Noah Alexander. While Sydney's p.i. partner Max lolls on the beach with a cutie, Sydney concentrates on finding David/Noah--discovering along the way his girlfriend (soon murdered), a crib-age nephew, and a wealthy man of mystery and muscle, Caleb Simeon, who's also looking for David for unspecified (at first) reasons. Backtracking to the double murder, Sydney interviews the liquor store owner's widow, and further questioning reveals that her husband may have been having an affair with Mildred Keller, the customer who died with him. Convinced her con artist/forger brother is innocent, Sydney quickly runs afoul of the real killer--but not before her brother reappears, then dies, and Caleb and his goon put in another appearance. Interesting premise, poor resolution. Sydney and Max, though, make a moderately entertaining pair and, with wiser plotting and a more fulsome denouement to their cases, will be welcome a second time around.