Lifelong friends team up to solve a murder.
Attorney Mike Gabretti’s relationship with ex–SFPD homicide detective Mendel "Del" Miller has always been complicated. As a boy, Mike admired Del’s father, Samuel, who survived the Holocaust as a child to become a physician and philanthropist, almost as much as he looked down on his own abrasive Italian dad. Now that Del is dating Mike’s ex-wife, Sophie, the tension between the two is near fever pitch. But Mike is still Del’s go-to guy. When a Cézanne the Millers lent to the California Museum of Fine Art goes missing, Del’s first call is to his childhood friend. And when CaMu director Thurman London confesses to the crime and hangs himself, the two pals move into overdrive. Ignoring the FBI’s conclusion that London’s death was due to autoerotic asphyxiation, Del looks into the painting’s past for clues to its present whereabouts. Art dealer Daniel Shapiro claims that Del’s grandfather stole the painting from his family before smuggling it out of occupied Marseilles. But Max Mueller’s letters insist that the Cézanne was the only payment the Shapiros could make once their money was shipped out of France. Del and Mike continue their dual attack on the Shapiros and the remnants of the London clan—but will their partnership founder over Sophie?
If you can overlook the frat-boy humor, Barkowski’s debut offers a novel take on friendship and family over time.