Hired to investigate a political spouse, Boston lawyer Brady Coyne (A Fine Line, 2002, etc.) finds himself hung up between the cops in two states and his closemouthed client.
Ellen Stoddard, who’s running for governor of Massachusetts, wonders why her husband Albert has been acting distracted and unhelpful. So Jimmy D’Ambrosio, the wily old kingmaker running her campaign, asks Brady to find out, and Brady in turn asks private eye Gordon Cahill. It’s Gordie who learns what’s bothering Albert, as he proves by getting himself killed in the world’s least convincing auto accident the night before he’s to meet with Brady. Since Gordie had been poking around near Albert’s cabin in Southwick, New Hampshire, Brady goes up there to poke around himself, and in no time at all, he’s managed to get somebody else killed. Now Lt. Bagley, of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office, is just as interested in Brady’s movements, and the identity of his client, as Lt. Roger Horowitz, Gordie’s old friend back home. But Jimmy D., who isn’t about to sabotage the Stoddard campaign, refuses to allow Brady to identify him or Albert to the police. Meantime, somebody with an unhealthy interest in a 30-year-old death is taking an even more unhealthy interest in Brady.
Brady’s 20th case is his most satisfyingly plotted in ten years, even if he sounds and acts more like his crosstown colleague Spenser than ever.