Forge, Apr 2003, 24.95, 288 pp.
Latino singer Gilia Cristobel is as hot an act as one will find today with her albums at the top of the charts and her popularity at stratospheric levels at least with music lovers. However, the down side of her meteoric rise is that her fame has brought her to the attention of someone who knew her back in the old country in Central America. That individual has blackmailed Gilia claiming he has proof of her involvement in an atrocity back home.
Paying off her extortionist is worth the lost cash to Gilia, but three months pass without further word from the blackmailer. Desperate to end the potential fiasco that if it went public would sink her career permanently, Gilia hires Detroit private investigator Amos Walker to find the real Gilia who has vanished since the threats surfaced and whose identity the singer has paid for so she can remain in the USA.
The latest Amos Walker tale is the usual superb hard-boiled noir that hooks the reader from the very beginning until the finish because the entire cast seems so genuine. Readers believe what Amos becomes entangled in due to the ensemble, whether they make a cameo appearance or are a key secondary player. The story line is vintage Walker who solves one thing only to be engulfed in something larger. Loren D. Estleman delivers another winner as the Motor City sleuth remains at the top of his game investigating on all cylinders.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner