Kicked out of his job as a mercenary for Shaw’s Mercantile (Buzz Monkey, 2003), Top Kiernan is living the life of the world’s most adrenaline-addicted librarian.
Jay Pope-Scott, the University of Georgia prof who’s outraged half the world with his race-baiting study Dixie-caust (sample proposition: rapist slaveowners improved the gene pool of their mixed-race descendants), has lost an irreplaceable item, presumably to his no-good tattoo-artist cousin Styrell Wooten: the “Bloody Red Rag,” a Confederate flag that was allegedly used to stanch the mortal wounds of Stonewall Jackson. Ordinarily Top wouldn’t think twice about retrieving such an intrinsically worthless article for such a racist client offering so little money. But his hand is forced when Gillie Lynfield, the ex-lover and ex-partner he tossed out of his bed and his company, sets up her own rival firm, lures half his clients and a third of his employees away, and vows to confiscate the beloved school building that’s home to Polymath, Inc. Needing every cent he can to fend off Gillie, Top takes the job and begins making the round of collectors most likely to buy the flag under the table. Soon he’s up to his collarbone in Klansmen, religious maniacs, abortion-clinic bombers, and feds, all determined to get a piece of Top.
Interesting people plot nonstop to hurt each other in interesting ways. Coming off his strong debut, Hill may have the makings of a powerhouse series.