This is serious noir detective tale, set in LA, with a wonderful hard-boiled head of homicide, Billy McGrath, complete with an ex-wife and a passion for the work, looking into the death of a mobster’s mother. The language was beautiful enough to make me bleed with envy.
An example from page 7:
Twin gouts of blood had hardened to a mustache beneath Mae Richards nostrils. Her sneakered right foot turned in at an angle, as if the bone had snapped. Ants were on the march now up her neck and cheek. Soon they’d gather around the blood and meat of her eye and march back again, bearing their treasure. In my experience dead people never look like they’re sleeping. They look like they’ve been shocked out of their lives, and dropped, dumped bones suddenly no more connected than a bag of parts
Good stuff. McGrath confronts ethical choices, we get some flavor of LA neighborhoods, Venice in particular, and peek into a few widely different flavors of crime. It was a wonderful, satisfying read. It made me eager to read more by this author, and what more can one say than that?