Assigned to baby-sit the ex-wife and son of accountant Mickey Gornitz before Gornitz testifies against his mobster boss Jimmy Stashall, Chicago cop Bill Hanrahan hears gunshots and races outside their supposedly secret motel location to find the woman dead and the son abducted, a scenario all too reminiscent of another of his foul-ups, when he was still a drunk. In despair, he longs to talk things over with his partner, the world-weary, philosophical Abe Lieberman. But Lieberman’s got his hands full with his daughter's sudden appearance from California (she’s leaving her second husband), his brother’s escalating anguish over the murder of his son David (Lieberman’s Day, 1994), one-armed Robert Kim’s stalking him to avenge his lackluster criminal career, a pair of convenience-store bandits on the rampage, and a Temple Mir Shavot board-member's daughter threatened by an outsized, belligerent street person. Hanrahan fights his urge to binge and Lieberman wrestles with his compulsion to overeat while they set traps, in their few spare moments, adopt a rogue dog, and forge new alliances with a mostly splenetic God.
Kaminsky in full command here, lapsing only with the dog's interior monologue. More complex than McBain, with a wry touch Kellerman (both of them) would do well to emulate.