Five Star, Aug 2009, $25.95
Eagle Eye private investigator Darla Barns asks former NYPD police detective Frank Pavlicek to help her on the case of the stolen kitty. The Charlottesville, Virginia private eye agrees to come back to Manhattan accompanied by his daughter Nicole. In exclusive Manhattan co-op Grayland Tower, several people have complained about a bird of prey the Great Horned owl attacking their pets. The client is animal rights activist Dr. Korva Lonigan who claims her cat Groucho was abducted and probably killed by the predatory bird.
Darla and the father and daughter team are attacked at the airport. Clues lead to Central Park and Westchester. Further digging connects Korva to the affluent Egyptian-American developer she accuses of being behind the assaults. Complicating the inquiry is the shooting deaths of two gangbangers, right where the Virginians are following leads in Central Park that with each clue seems increasingly sordid and focused on a young Falconer and a bird of prey.
This is a terrific whodunit as what seems no more than an amusing minor tenant dispute with a landlord turns into a dangerous inner city mystery. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action, but it is the twists that keep on coming yet seem plausible that will hold reader’s attention throughout. Andy Straka as he received with Frank’s tale COLD QUARRY will obtain plenty of accolades for KITTY HITTER (except for the too clever title).