From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A challenging inquiry places Amos Walker at odds with his only real friend, investigative journalist Barry Stackpole, in Estleman's superlative 20th novel featuring the Detroit PI (after 2007's American Detective). A car bombing that left Stackpole seriously maimed leads to the conviction for attempted murder of mobster Joseph Ballista (aka "Joey Ballistic"), who earned his nickname for his bad temper and his alleged fondness for blowing things up. Ballista's lawyer, Lucille Lettermore (aka "Lefty Lucy"), who likes to defend unpopular clients, hires Walker to prove that the gangster, who faces enhanced punishment as a repeat offender, wasn't responsible for the bomb that destroyed the reporter's car. Convinced the man is innocent, the detective focuses on identifying the informant who fingered Ballista for the crime. Estleman proves conclusively that there's plenty of life left in the contemporary hard-boiled subgenre. (Dec.)
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Joe Ballista, aka Joey Ballistic, is serving time for, among other crimes, blowing up Barry Stackpole, Detroit’s premier crime reporter. Stackpole survived but was left with a bad leg and a damaged hand. Now Amos Walker, a private investigator and Stackpole’s best friend, is working to exonerate Ballista. Walker’s client is Lefty Lucy Lettermore, who’s made a career of representing liberal causes in high-profile cases. If she can clear Ballista, it will be her biggest triumph in years. But Joey doesn’t have much in the way of friends, and Walker doesn’t have much in the way of leads. But as Walker slogs on, he makes someone nervous. Two potential sources are murdered, and Walker disrupts another attempt on Stackpole’s life by a home invader. The latest Walker novel features all the selling points that have made the series a touchstone for fans of hard-boiled crime fiction: irrepressible tough-guy dialogue, great plotting, a vibrant Detroit milieu, and a hero who has whiskey on his breath and nicotine stains on his fingers. --Wes Lukowsky
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