Shane Cleary is a PI who finds himself in several binds as he is more than called upon to solve several cases at once. The first an arsonist named Jimmy who is usually quite methodical about his work and is now arrested for arson and murder. He swears he did not set this particular fire . The second is when he is forced into a limo of a mobster and his henchman Tony and is told he must find this man’s grandnephew who is missing. The third is odd as he was fired from the police force why would the commissioner want him on a specific case concerning a young Hispanic girl that was deemed a drug overdose and suicide and he feels it was not.
Added in we meet Tony Two Times, the family of Luisa the girl who was murdered, the connection between the kidnapping of the grandnephew of the head of the mob and the fire itself.
Jimmy the arsonist that Cleary is trying to clear of the fire it is explained that he did not have the MO for that fire and that someone else did. Investigating and with he helps of his newspaper friend Bill, he gets the files, the pictures and the information needed to track down several who had a hand in what happened to the young boy. Someone set the fire, but the kid was tied up in the basement and burned alive. The reasons and the rationale you will have to learn for yourself.
Someone owned all the property on Symphony Road except one and the owner was threatened to give it up and sell. Since he refused, went to Florida they were suspicious of the owner but in the end they learned who requested that the fire be set, and this person had a hand in what happened to the young boy.
When investigating and talking to people Shane learns that the man who owns most of the properties is Sharif Faisal a slumlord that they were going to deal with. Tony and Shane make a great pair and their mode of convincing people well might seem unorthodox to most but effective. The author takes us deep inside the minds of the corruption in the police department, the methods the mob will use to get their own brand of justice, research into how fires are set and put out plus what happens when a murder occurs, and the records and autopsy are changed.
Each time Shane moves ahead with one case he falls back with another. Someone named Pinto is his connection with the Commissioner and things begin to fall into place when he gets a tip from someone in a building about the fire and he must get shelter for three people related to Luisa. His friend Nikos was the man who had places for people to stay for a short time and who managed to help enlighten him about people that might have something to do with the deadly fire.
When we meet the family of Luisa we get some insight into her sister who shows no remorse for her feelings, yet in the end guilt comes out and when they learn the truth about her death and how she was helped to die and by whom, will justice be served?
Author Gabriel Valjan takes us deep inside the world of slumlords, arsonists who justify their actions and reasons for committing the crimes. The corruption goes from the lowest ranking officer all the way up to the brass as two are responsible for the death of this young girl and in the end the force has their own brand or way of enacting justice.
Shane is hardboiled, hardnosed and relentless and will not stop until he gets those that caused the fire, takes down anyone in his path and with Tony Two Times who you want to watch your back you might succeed but not in the traditional or legal ways.
A simple photo of Luisa says it all and an observation allows Shane to explain why someone injected her with a drug to make sure that she died. She advocated for those who had no voice.
There are those that do not want Shane to pursue the case of the young girl and brute force is their way of trying to convince him to stop. With the help of Nikos and his friend Bill, he just might uncover the conspiracy and the lies, betrayals and deceptions that created what looked like a suicide but was a murder. Jean Claude Toussaint is the link to seeing the body that was burned and the characteristics and several imprints would help identify who the body was and the seriousness of having to tell Mr. B that his grandnephew was gone.
The final scenes will connect the first two cases, that of the arsonist up for murder and the truths behind why this young boy was burned to death but the ending will not be salvation for those who caused it. Tony is tough, Mr. B you do not want to cross and the final scene with the two that caused it will let you know or wonder what their fate might be.
Added in when the truth about how this young girl died those responsible will they pay? Just how high up does the corruption go and when told to change where he stores his luggage, will Tony heed the warning from Shane.
Characters that are flawed and some have their own morals and ethics if you can call them that and one tough PI named Shane Cleary that you will either love or hate but admire.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews