The fourth entry to John Straley's Alaska PI series finds Cecil Younger with a contract to kill.
Cecil Younger is a man who takes comfort in the absurdity of the universe, and the universe is obliging him when he gets a call from his lawyer and psychiatrist, who offers him a job. A client wants to hire Younger to kill someone. Though common sense tells him murder just isn't a good career move, his finances tell him it can't hurt to meet his potential client, hoping he can succeed in appeasing him - without a dead body.
Joined by the usual cast of misfits - his lawyer/psychiatrist, Dickie Stein, his girlfriend, Jane Marie, and his ward, Todd - Cecil investigates a murder that brings him back to the Centralia Massacre of 1919, an event in Alaskan history that seems to still be reaching into the present - and its dark, chilly grasp may extend to Cecil himself.