Three intertwined cases for Det. Sgt. Abe Lieberman, Chicago’s most humane cop, and his friends (The Last Dark Place, 2004, etc.).
Terror Town is a neighborhood ruled by the Black P Stone Rangers and assorted misfits and lunatics. Case in point: Eight months ago, retired infielder Carl Zwick was assaulted by crazy Milo Racubian. If he hadn’t been rescued by Lieberman’s partner Bill Hanrahan and his wife Iris, he would have died. Now there are fresh Racubian sightings. Does he have it in for Zwick again, or is he stalking pregnant Iris? A few blocks away, housekeeper Anita Mills, emerging from the bank with her baby and her life savings, is robbed and killed by two gangstas suspiciously well-informed about the cash she’s carrying. What’s the connection between her death and the earlier accusation that she’d robbed her employers, real-estate baron David Kenton and his supermodel wife Vona? Meanwhile, over at the Dollar-or-Less Store, Richard Allen Smith, né Goldberg, is determined to raise to his Crusade for Peace, even if it means threatening his contributors with violence. It’s lucky that Lieberman needs only four hours’ sleep a night, because apart from the troubles of Terror Town, he has to deal with his brother’s coronary and his estranged daughter’s sudden return.
The death of Ed McBain leaves Kaminsky the pre-eminent living writer of police procedurals. Though this one’s not up to Lieberman’s very best, two of his cases end with a bang.