Eli Quinn’s latest case finds the private investigator roaming the surprisingly dangerous real estate world of Pleasant, Arizona, to locate a missing man in Britt’s (Murder Mountain, 2016, etc.) series mystery.
It’s been less than 24 hours since realtor Madison Mack lost contact with his father, Joe, who was representing his real estate agency at a conference in nearby Scottsdale, Arizona. Certain he’s gone missing, Madison calls private eye Quinn, a relative novice at sleuthing whose first two cases have won him acclaim in the press. His search for Joe first takes him to his landlady, Aahna Chaudhari, who has her own real estate business. Joe’s success may have upset his fellow agents, but according to Aahna, he and his wife, Joanne, were also swingers; Quinn soon spots other realtors at a swingers’ party he crashes. Then his growing suspect list does something unexpected: it gets shorter, as other people also mysteriously vanish. At one point, someone knocks Quinn on the head, apparently as a warning to steer clear of the investigation. Fortunately, the PI has a handful of pals he can count on, including reporter Samantha Marcos, former lawman Jack “Beach” Beachum, and his own German shepherd, Solo, trained to attack on command. In this latest installment, Britt’s returning protagonist continues to develop as a character. Once a man who barely understood the private-investigation industry, Quinn now seems to be adopting a tough-guy role, and he’s more prone to employ his martial arts skills against uncooperative individuals. The same is true for the finely drawn-out romance between Quinn and his girlfriend, Sam. They’ve only just decided to bump up their friendship status, but their intimacy has to be put on hold thanks to Quinn’s battered face (due to the events of the preceding novel). As in earlier series entries, readers won’t have much trouble pinpointing exactly what happened or who’s responsible. But along the way, Britt offers a sharp, hearty narrative that’s not above a few tongue-in-cheek moments; Quinn, for example, has an easy time shadowing realtor suspects, as they all have their photos plastered on their car doors.
Another worthy outing for the quick-witted, ever evolving private eye.