At 71, Deets Shanahan (Asphalt Moon, 2007, etc.) might be ready to pack it in. But that’s easier said than done.
The disruptive phone call comes from the Indianapolis private eye’s former commanding officer. I need you down in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, says ex-Major Jack Wenders, and he keeps on saying it until finally Deets caves. The beaches, after all, are famously pleasant, and Deets can envision his girlfriend Maureen joining him for a bit of a holiday once he firmly declines whatever errand Wenders has in mind. As he labors to silence the inner voice warning that he’ll rue the day, his friend and colleague Howie Cross has things to rue as well. He wishes it could have been some impervious stone image of himself that first crossed paths with sexy, here-again-gone-again seductress Margot Hudson. The last time she’d flitted out of his life, she’d left behind five-year-old Maya, swearing the girl belonged to daddy. Was that the truth or a typical Margot lie? By now, it doesn’t much matter, since Howie’s inextricably attached. And then, suddenly, shockingly, Maya is kidnapped. Meanwhile, in Puerto Vallarta, Deets hears scary stories about private armies and the highly placed American government officials who make nefarious use of them. Eventually these two wildly diverging scenarios are linked—well, almost.
Another solid performance from a savvy writer who knows that the best way to plug plot holes is with engaging characters.