The further perils of V.I. Warshawski, Chicago's lawyer-p.i. (Burn Marks, etc.), this time fighting the good fight against forces of greed and corruption, first brought to her attention by elderly downstairs neighbor and self-appointed guardian Mr. Contreras. His alcoholic friend Mitch Kruger, a fellow retiree from the Diamond Head Machine Company, cadges a bid from Contreras, brags about soon-to-come riches from Diamond Head, disappears and later is found murdered. Then there's dog-obsessed, cranky old Mrs. Frizell down the block who seems to have traded solid CD investments for junk bonds at the behest of her new neighbor, yuppie banker Todd Pichea. V.I.'s stubborn sleuthing into Kruger's murder produces numerous threatening confrontations, middle-of-the-night file searches, car chases, a second murder, and a nasty fright for her dear friend Dr. Lotty Herschel. The final result is the unraveling of a massive seam in which even V.I.'s prissy lawyer/ex-husband Dick Yarborough is involved. Our heroine--more short-fused and meanmouthed than ever--winds up a job well clone with no major injuries, a new lover, and a heavy case of introspection. Suspense rarely flags through the slightly excessive length here--densely textured, adroitly plotted, and one of the author's best.