Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Left-Handed Dollar -Loren D. Estleman

The Left-Handed Dollar
Loren D. Estleman
Forge, Dec 7 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765319548

The car bombing left Detroit investigative journalist Barry Stackpole disfigured and still healing from his injuries. The police arrests mobster Joseph "Joey Ballistic” Ballista on charge of attempted murder as the bombing has his “DNA” trademark and a “witness” has stepped forward. A jury convicts Ballistic known for his rage and his pleasure in blowing up things.

Ballista's lawyer, Lucille "Lefty Lucy” Lettermore hires private investigative Amos Walker to find evidence that her client did not bomb Stackpole’s car. Although he knows his only friend Stackpole will be livid, Walker takes the case as the attorney persuades him her client is innocent. Instead of tracking Ballista’s steps right before the car bombing Walker interviews lying former wives and probes into what the informant who accused Ballistics of the crime was doing at the time of the explosion and what his or her motive is. His efforts do not prevent more murders from occurring; it probably is the catalyst.

The latest Walker hardboiled Motor City private investigative thriller (see American Detective) is a great entry that plays out on two interrelated levels. First there is the usual kick-butt Walker inquiry; and second is Stackpole’s feeling betrayed. Fast-paced with several terrific twists, The Left-Handed Dollar is a great Michigan mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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