Tierney celebrates the 25th anniversary of Indianapolis shamus Deets Shanahan’s debut with an autumnal 11th case whose subject is its biggest mystery.
There’s really no reason why Deets (Bullet Beach, 2011, etc.) should still be working. He’s had surgery to remove a brain tumor; his left hand and arm are all but useless; and he’s been having more seizures than any self-respecting PI can take. So, he’s not exactly eager to meet with Alexandra Fournier, founder of Second Chance Community and head of a civilian task force for police oversight. But he’s promised her sister, former Indiana Attorney General Jennifer Bailey, so he dutifully waits in his window, and that’s where he’s standing when he sees his aspiring client get shot to death just after she pulls into his driveway. Now that Ms. Fournier’s never going to get the chance to tell him what she wanted to consult him about, her sister hires him to find out. In a trice Deets is up to his ears in suspects and motives. His late client had evidently just separated Tyrus Investments, whatever that is, from the rest of her estate and given it to her brother, con man Charles Bailey. She’d been actively pursuing the volatile case of Sgt. Leonard Card, the city cop who killed Second Chance kid Justice King. When Deets goes to her home to see what sorts of paperwork she’s left behind, he finds instead the corpse of Nicky Hernandez, King’s close friend. It’s ironic that even though Deets constantly feels his mortality, everyone around him, even his ladylove, Maureen, seems to be in greater danger.
Deets winds up the case in routine but satisfying fashion. The real prize here is the tone, which Tierney keeps expertly hovering between compassionate valediction and civic outrage.