Five Star, Dec 2003, 25.95, 214 pp.
In Chicago, Private Investigator Mike Duncavan blames himself for the failures of his life as he recognizes that he made colossal mistakes. He cheated on his first wife who finally divorced him though she believes that she will always be married to him. He should never have married his second wife, who also divorced him. The Chicago Police Department fired him and now he is barred from practicing law. Financially he is a wreck. Emotionally, he wants his first wife back.
Septuagenarian attorney Artemus Shumway hires Mike to investigate the murder of Tadeusz Bartodzice, a Polish father of six, in a building where a working class Eastern European immigrant had no reason to be five years ago. Robbery was ruled out because his money and credit cards were left behind. On the day before civil suits can expire, the Bartodzice family sued the building's owner Moses Watson for wrongful death. The legal twist is that Mike has only fifteen days to learn why Tadeusz was where he was and any other related matter.
MUSIC ACROSS THE WALL is a superb private investigative tale with powerful insight into the Illinois civil legal system. The story line moves at a rapid pace except when Mike mentally kicks himself for his errors. Mike is a great protagonist, though he seems to be a more knowledgeable lawyer than the plot's other attorneys. His inquiries are fun to follow and the case makes for a delightful thriller that readers will value and want more novels starring Iron Mike making the rounds of Chicago.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner