Mitch Holliday’s life is about as unglamorous as it gets. A forty year-old former P.I. ("body by Hummer, face by hard knocks"), he lost his license after being framed for money laundering and is now reduced to helping his partner, Lionel Banks, pick up a missing girl named Lila Hendricks. En route, however, everything goes wrong and Mitch finds himself being drawn into a world of money, murder and double-cross.
For all its opulence, Mitch’s new surroundings are as hard and uncompromising as a blood-stained knuckle-duster. At once seduced and repelled by the almost obscene wealth of sexy socialite Claire Dixon and her manipulative, crippled sister Elaina (especially when compared to the hand-to-mouth existence of his widowed neighbour Donna Banks), he is forced - reluctantly - to examine his own hitherto rootless existence.
But murder is the name of the game here, the target a wealthy businessman with few if any redeeming features. The question is, will Mitch, as tough and cynical as he is, go ahead and sacrifice what few principles he has left in order to kill for the promise of love and money?
It’s a tough call, since Mitch is by his own admission a little on the slow side. Suffice it to say that he emerges at the end as a wholly credible character about whom this particular reviewer would like to read more.
Told at a vigorous pace, Steve Hayes’s slick prose is sprinkled with delightful turns of phrase, numerous references to the noir movies of Hollywood’s golden age and a crisp line in dialogue that's written exactly the way it’s spoken ... all of which make this a vivid, compelling and above all highly satisfying read.