A well-crafted mystery that leaves some intriguing questions unanswered, this story will whet readers' appetites for the next Parker book. As always, the hero's wisecracking first-person point of view is a highlight.

A junkie who seems desperate to talk approaches New York newspaper reporter Henry Parker outside his office. Henry brushes him off with a business card and an invitation to call, but he never gets a chance. Hours later, a detective informs Henry that the man, Stephen Gaines, is dead -- and that Gaines was Henry's half-brother!

With his attorney girlfriend Amanda Davies, Henry travels to Oregon to speak to his estranged father -- and he's in time to see the older man arrested for Gaines' murder. But Henry's convinced he's innocent. It's soon clear that Stephen was involved in a drug syndicate, and his death may be connected to others. Digging places Henry at risk yet again, but he's compelled to find the truth. (MIRA, Oct., 384 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer