From Publishers Weekly
In Edgar-winner Stansberry's strong fourth novel to feature San Francisco PI Dante Mancuso (after 2008's The Ancient Rain
), leaked secrets about the company, Mancuso's shadowy former employer (a front for intelligence operations), prompt the company to end the stalemate that allowed Dante to walk away in the previous book. Meanwhile, Leanora Chin, a cop with Special Investigations, is threatening Dante's cousin Gary, who runs a shady warehouse operation. Gary fears the wrath of the powerful Wu Benevolent Association if he cooperates with Chin. The company tells Gary it can halt the investigation if Dante will help the company. Trapped in a three-way vise, Dante searches for a way to neutralize the explicit threats to his cousin and others dear to him, while knowing that the only permanent solution is to disappear. San Francisco's North Beach is a virtual character as the stoic Dante fearlessly plays out the poor hand he's been dealt against a table of sharks with all the chips in the pot. (Mar.)
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*Starred Review* We’ve said it all along: whereas others play at noir, Stansberry delivers the real thing. That was true with the marvelous Ancient Rain (2008), and it’s even more true with this latest entry in the Dante Mancuso series. This time the San Francisco P.I.’s shady past (working for a clandestine government security outfit called the Company) comes back to haunt him. Ordinarily, you don’t ever quit the Company, but Dante managed it through some tricky leverage; now the Company has its own leverage in the form of Dante’s cousin, who has turned to the group for help when his warehousing business goes south. “It was nice to think you had a choice, that your actions made a difference one way or another,” Dante muses, but he knows better. Think of the end of For Whom the Bell Tolls—Robert Jordan with a Gatling gun between his legs and the Fascists coming up the mountain en masse—and you’ll have some idea of just how dark the world looks to Dante’s shrouded eyes (and, unlike Jordan, Dante harbors no illusions about honor). As always, Stansberry combines his unrelenting noir world view with remarkably lyrical prose. You want a similar title? Try Mozart’s Requiem. --Bill Ott