Invited to trace the owners of some dead-end safe-deposit boxes, Frank Cole soon finds himself hunting much bigger game.
Preparing for a visit from the bank examiners, manager Ollie Morton is concerned because the leases on some of his safe-deposit boxes are so old that he can’t identify the customers anymore. Tracking them down sounds like a perfect job for Frank, who’s been lying low as a fact-checker in Exile, Florida, while waiting for the vultures who picked his computer firm clean to let him walk away without paying them anything else. But Frank sniffs bigger trouble when safe-deposit manager Susan Wilmington tells how a strange man identifying himself as Dorothea Freehoffer’s husband cleaned out her box. Her fears are justified by the fact that Dorothea has just died in a convenient accident—and that her husband’s funeral was two years ago. The search for answers leads Frank to a real-estate scam, a 20-year-old murder, a state attorney who wants Frank to go back to hiding under his rock and, most surprisingly of all, the offer of a real job making real money. As usual, however, O’Neil (Reduced Circumstances, 2007, etc.), keeps the proceedings so low-key that if you blink you’ll miss the jaws of justice closing on the one miscreant who doesn’t get off scot-free.
No sexy dames, death threats, fisticuffs or car chases—just an ordinary guy asking questions till he hits the jackpot.