It wasn't the worst sound Paine had ever heard, but it came very close - a single strangled cry, and then a terrible gasping, then the sound of the receiver banging against a table leg again and again. Paine's caller had said that he was going to hang himself; the private detective didn't have time not to believe him. In a haunting novel of detection which calls to mind the writing of Ross Macdonald, Al Sarrantonio has created an investigator whose search uncovers clues about his own past and a crime that has its roots in secrets not only thought buried, but lost as well.
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Jack Paine was on what passed for a vacation, or maybe it was a regrouping, an opportunity to forget the events of the last year and especially of the last month. When the phone rang, he tried to ignore it. There were only a few people who knew where to reach him, and none of them would try. But the phone kept ringing. And Jack Paine finally answered it. Of course, it was bad news. Bob Petty, a friend from Paine's days on the force, had disappeared. Petty's wife, Terry, knew that he hadn't gone undercover....