A client who isn’t a client sends private eye Leonid McGill (Known to Evil, 2010, etc.) on his latest whirligig tour of New York’s dark side.
Billionaire Cyril Tyler’s first two wives, Allondra North and Pinky Todd, died suddenly and suspiciously. So it’s only natural for their successor, painter Chrystal Chambers-Tyler, to fear what he might do if he learned she was paying a private detective to get information about his infidelities. When he wangles a meeting with the well-guarded Tyler, Leonid realizes that the situation’s more complicated than that. Tyler pays Leonid $10,000 to deliver an awkwardly conciliatory message to Chrystal. But Leonid can’t because his client has disappeared. In fact, she was never Chrystal in the first place but her sister, Shawna Chambers-Campbell. Clearly afraid that Tyler planned some violence against her sister, Shawna was only half-right, since she’s the one who gets killed in front of her five children. Not enough complications for you? Leonid has also reluctantly agreed to find crooked organizer Harris Vartan’s vanished associate William Williams, a man whose trail seems to lead from one interesting dead end to the next. And between his wife Katrina’s continuing affairs, his own off-again romances, his stormy relationships with his children and the decline of his cancer-stricken friend Gordo Tallman as he lies in Leonid’s apartment, the story of the detective’s home life is just as hectic, and bound to end just as inconclusively.
A book filled with sharp individual scenes and hard-headed aphorisms.