The family Sheffield: hugely rich and powerful—and murderously dysfunctional.
Solomon Gage well understands that something is rotten in the Sheffield state, but what’s a loyal retainer to do? He’s been serving the family for 20 years, since his mom left him on their doorstep, age 14, and can’t readily imagine another way of life. The position is precarious. True, Dominick, the patriarch, is a Solomon booster. He values Solomon’s trouble-shooting capabilities, and he has reason to. Is there a problem affecting Sheffield Enterprises? Dispatch Solomon—he’ll make it go away. Is young Abby Maynes, a third generation Sheffield, drugged out of her mind again and lost in some misbegotten needle park? Solomon will find and rescue her even if it means snuffing a few bottom-feeders in the process. So, yes, he’s earned Dominick’s gratitude, but what he’s earned from the Sheffield sons, Michael and Christopher, however, is implacable hatred fostered by long-standing resentment and jealousy. Inevitably, push comes to shove in a bitter battle between the pure of heart Solomon and the Iago-like sons with the godfather-like Dominick adjudicating between them. Well, blood is thicker than water, and virtue is its own reward—and somewhere in those homilies, Solomon ought to be able to parse his future.
The Brewer prose is clumsy, his characters nuance-free, but the Brewer (Monkey Man, 2006, etc.) plotting is operatic enough to counterbalance boredom.